Andrei Kirilenko spent the 2011-2012 season in Russia playing for CSKA Moscow. His familiarity playing with the European rules must have made him feel extra comfortable going into the Olympics (especially considering he's Russia's LeBron James and all), and he showed it in his team's Olympic opener against the home team. Kirilenko exploded for 35 points on 14-17 shooting and led his team to an easy 95-75 victory over Great Britain.
Fresh off signing a two-year, $20 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kirilenko was everywhere. Luol Deng, Great Britain's best player coming off his best year yet in the NBA -- he even was named an Eastern Conference All Star -- was good as well, scoring 24 points to lead his team. But much like against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Deng showed he's best as a complementary piece, not the headliner.
It was Great Britain's first appearance in the Olympic basketball tournament since 1964, and it was far from an embarrassment. They're not expected to make it out of the knockout stage, but it would be nice to see them win at least one game in pool play in front of the home crowd. But with Russian players Alexey Shved and Sasha Kaun, who played at Kansas, displaying this level of chemistry, that win simply wasn't going to come against Russia.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a one-time Dallas Maverick and star of the George Washington University basketball team, scored 22 points for the Brits.
For complete coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, visit SB Nation's Summer Olympics hub.