MOSCOW – Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko is taking time off from the Russian national team for family reasons, according to media reports in Russia.
The 32-year-old Kirilenko told the daily Sport-Express that he had informed the Russian basketball federation president, Alexander Krasnenkov, of his decision by phone.
Kirilenko was quoted as saying that "the busy NBA season means I spend too much time away from my family, it takes away a minimum of six-and-a-half months a year."
Kirilenko returned to the NBA last summer after a one-year stint with CSKA Moscow.
Kirilenko says that he will not play for Russia at the European Championship in September but might be back on the team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.