Safe to say, Slava Medvedenko is leading a very different life in his NBA retirement. The native Ukrainian, is among right alongside scores of his countryman actively defending their nation against the Russian invasion. The Athletic's Bill Oram interviewed the two-time NBA champion to talk to him about his experiences in wartime.
Oram reported that Medvedenko mans a guard station in Kyiv for four hours each day, despite not having any formal military training.
"For four hours every day he watches the road that stretches to the suburban battlefield and anticipates the moment the Russians will come. His efforts serve as a snapshot of the stiff civilian resistance experts have said Russian forces were not prepared to meet."
The writer also highlighted that the former Lakers big man's efforts to assist the Ukrainian war effort don't just include guard duty. He's already sold his basketball shoes, jerseys, and is in the process of selling his championship rings.
"Medvedenko is doing everything he can to support the Ukrainian army, which for a former NBA star has included auctioning off virtually all memorabilia from his playing days. He said he has already sold T-shirts, jerseys and sneakers. Next up: His championship rings, a process for which he has sought assistance from the Lakers."
Per Oram, Lakers executive Linda Rambis communicated to Slava that the organization will replace his rings if he sells them.
Slava also invited Shaquille O'Neal, his former teammate, to visit him Ukraine to . Medvedenko hosted a charity basketball tournament in May and also plans on conducting basketball camps in June.