Team 2010-11: Utah Jazz (USA-NBA)
Career: Spartak St. Petersburg (Russia-Superleague, 1996-98), CSKA Moscow (Russia-Superleague, 1998-2001), Utah Jazz (USA-NBA, 2001-11)
After three years away from the National Team, the EuroBasket 2007 MVP is primed for a return and that will be music to the ears of both Coach Blatt and the Russian fans. With an entire decade of NBA experience with the Utah Jazz behind him and with time to make up for his non-participation at both EuroBasket 2009 and the FIBA World Championship last summer, a fired up and mature Kirilenko could be priceless in the pursuit of the podium again. Taking into account the usually excellent defensive capabilities of the Russian team, his return means opponents are going to have an even harder time on offence this time around since he is a world class defensive presence. While some injury issues and the shifting dynamics of turnover at the Jazz down the years have sometimes affected his form, he remains a quality player who is capable of directly shooting down an opponent or picking them apart with his range of court smarts. He will provide something for Russia in absolutely every department whether it is scoring, rebounding, dishing up assists or his legendary defence. In fact it would be foolish to rule out the chances of this veteran leader being in with a shot of landing another EuroBasket MVP accolade. For if Russia do reach the latter stages, it would be a major surprise if Kirilenko was not the heartbeat of the team and the main thrust of their challenge.