The next few months may be the most exciting and challenging time of basketballer Aleksey Shved's life. The 23-year-old joined the Minnesota Timberwolves after leaving CSKA Moscow over the summer – before he left, he spoke with RT on the move.
For Shved, it's a dream come true to join the NBA. The Russian dramatically improved his game over the last few years, and was a key reason his country's team won a bronze medal in London this summer.
He hasn't had much rest as he prepares for the move, but the former CSKA guard said he was raring to go.
“I have already been in training for the last two weeks and I just want to get there [in Minnessota] and start playing,” he said. “They say the first season in the NBA is always the hardest, but I hope one particular friend will help me out when I get there, and I hope everything will be ok.”
He'll have a big helping hand when he moves to Minnesota, since he will be joined by NBA veteran Andrey Kirilenko. Shved is thrilled to have such a good friend as a teammate.
“He's been playing in the NBA for 10 seasons and he's vastly experienced.He's always the kind of guy you can go to for some advice. He's a great person to have around, and is a good friend of mine, both on and off the court,” Shved said. “I am sure he will help me out when I get there, and I'll try and take his advice on board.”
Kirilenko, for his part, believes that Shved has every chance of succeeding in the North American league:“His game has really developed since he joined CSKA. He possesses an excellent shot from the three point line and a great play intellect, though he is sometimes let down by lapses in concentration and poor decision-making.But he has showed both at European and international level that he has what it takes to succeed on the biggest stage.”
“Everything started to improve for me when I got more game time,” Shved explained.
Minnesota may have a surprisingly strong season in store – the Timberwolves are young and dynamic, with players like Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Now that Kirilenko and Shved are set to join them, their future looks brighter than ever.