September 24, 2022 | 3:39 pm EDT Update
Revealing an unknown part of his early days as a player, Andrei Kirilenko recalled inking a contract with Partizan. In 2001, he instead moved his talents to the NBA to start the lengthy run at the Utah Jazz. “I signed the contract but it had an NBA option,” he said opening the interview, “How would I look in the black and white jersey? We will never know. I will always be grateful that such a club was interested in me when I was really young.”
“I understand the situation,” mentioned Kirilenko referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the result of the invasion of Russia, “I am sure players don’t follow politics nor are interested in politics. But nowadays everyone is an expert. We are all experts in viruses and the next day in politics. I don’t know anything about politics. I know about basketball. That’s where I can help.” “I talk about basketball and play sports because I am convinced I understand how things work,” he added, “Sports should be uniting people, not separating. Basketball exists for us to enjoy together and that’s how it should be all around the world.”
NBA owners are exploring options for how the league can better recruit and retain top executives at its central office, according to multiple people familiar with the plans. Among the possibilities under consideration is a pool of money to help boost compensation packages at the C-suite and VP levels, said the people, who were granted anonymity because the talks are private.
Retention is a growing concern at leagues like the NBA and NFL, which don’t have the equity structure of other private companies, nor the ability to consistently offer limited travel or remote-work options that became more important in the post-COVID job market. The NBA discussions are still in their preliminary stages, the people said. An NBA representative declined to comment.
Attempts to lure executives have reached the highest level. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has drawn interest in recent years from technology companies looking to pull him away from the league, according to one of the people. “Especially in the day and age that we live in, where executives at hyper-growth businesses, tech startups or media companies are all locked in with some kind of equity or LTIP,” said Asher Simons, co-founder of CAA’s executive search division. “Teams and leagues now are having to battle that.”