Former Kansas University center Sasha Kaun wanted some help in clearing up a big international misunderstanding Tuesday.
“I don’t know why everyone is saying that I’m retired! I’m definitely done playing for CSKA (Moscow) but if there is the right opportunity in the NBA, I would definitely try to play there. It’s really weird that everyone is saying I’m retired. I never said that! Can you put out an article about it please!” Kaun stated in a text message to the Journal-World on Tuesday.
A follow-up phone call further revealed the 30-year-old Kaun’s intention to play in the NBA after seven years with CSKA Moscow, a team he recently led to the VTB League title.
“People have been calling and e-mailing me saying, ‘Congratulations on your retirement,’ and things like that. I said, ‘Oh, OK,’’’ Kaun told the J-W. “Even my agent told me people are all talking in the U.S. about my retirement. As of now I’m done playing in Russia and pretty sure I’m done in Europe, but I’m not done, done,” he added with a laugh.
His official stance on Monday’s published reports on various websites that he’d retired?
“If I have the option to play in the NBA, I’ll look into it and consider it,” Kaun said. “I’ll see what my options are. If there are none, we’ll be done.”
Kaun’s rights are held by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“My agent will be talking to them figuring if they want to sign me or trade me,” Kaun said. “I’m open to whatever opportunity comes and will consider it.”
Kaun, who averaged 9.9 points and 4.5 rebounds for CSKA this past season, knows Cavs coach David Blatt well.
“I worked with him several years on the Russian National team. He was my coach all the way on the European championship, the following year the world championship for the Olympics. He’s a great coach,” Kaun said.
One report from a Russian writer on Monday said Kaun was tired of basketball.
“No, I love it,” he said. “I’ve had seven great years here with the team. I’m really fortunate and happy I had the opportunity to grow and have done all the things we’ve done with the national team. It’s been really great. It’s a good time for me to take the next step or try to figure out something else.”
Kaun and his wife, Taylor, have a 2-year-old daughter, Nika. And a baby boy is on the way in November. Kaun, who makes his offseason home in Denver, said he’ll attend the second KU-Canada exhibition game on June 26 in Sprint Center.