Russian big man, Sasha Kaun (211 cm, Kansas’08) is hanging up his jersey and calling it a career at age 31. Sasha bids goodbye to basketball at the top of his game, having just recently doing something many have dreamed of, but few have accomplished, winning an NBA Championship. Yes, Kaun was the sparingly used fifth wheel in the Cleveland Cavaliers frontcourt depth chart. In 2015-16 Sasha averaged one point and one rebound per game for the Cavs in barely four minutes per game of action in 23 games.
While his brief stint in the NBA may seem underwhelming, Kaun was a former member of the Russian national team from 2008 to 2012. He won an NCAA Title with the Kansas City Jayhawks in 2008. Sasha then went on to play five seasons for CSKA Moscow (Russia-VTB) and helped them bag five VTB United League championships (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015).
Kaun said he started thinking seriously about retirement “toward the end of the season. I kind of feel my ankle has been bothering me awhile. With the amount of pain I was going through, I just wanted to be done. It’s something I’ve had all my career,” he added of right ankle problems. “It was definitely getting worse and worse, year by year. Especially coming here (one year in NBA after seven seasons in Moscow) … the intensity of the game I just kind of realized I don’t think I can go and do it any more.
“I said, ‘You know what? I’m not going to be happy playing. I’m not going to be happy not playing. I think it’s a good time to call it quits.”’