HoopsHype Zydrunas Ilgauskas rumors

March 10, 2014 Updates

LeBron James attended the jersey retirement of former teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas in Cleveland on Saturday night, and while he’s still hated by his former fan base, it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be post “decision.’’ “Nothing will ever compare to the first time I went back [in the 2010-11 season],’’ James said. “It was all right [Saturday], it wasn’t bad.’’ Chicago Sun-Times

March 9, 2014 Updates

Earlier this week, Varejao predicted his good friend would cry during his speech. "Emotion's a funny thing,'' a dry-eyed Ilgauskas said. "Tears don't necessarily always describe how a person feels. Inside I was nervous and knotted up.'' Then he joked, "I didn't cry because I was on a time limit.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

Majority owner Dan Gilbert talked about what he thought the No. 11 hanging in the rafters would represent. "It represents the concept of never, ever, ever, ever giving up. Ever,'' Gilbert said. "It represents loyalty and honor from and for a town and franchise that has adopted Zydrunas as one of its own long ago. "I think there's a reason this town has fallen in love with Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and that reason is Zydrunas Ilgauskas represents everything that Cleveland, Ohio, is all about.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

March 8, 2014 Updates
March 7, 2014 Updates

And when it comes to Ilgauskas, those impressions are all good. "He's really what character is all about,'' said former Cavs general manager Wayne Embry, who made Ilgauskas the No. 20 pick in the 1996 draft. "He demonstrated tremendous courage,'' said former majority owner Gordon Gund. "It's a great testament to his desire to succeed,'' said former coach Mike Fratello. "For a decade, he was the face of the franchise,'' said former teammate, and now Cavs assistant coach, Vitaly Potapenko. Cleveland Plain Dealer

March 6, 2014 Updates

"I think it's an incredible night; it was very touching that Big Z would reach out to Ronnie," Spoesltra said. "We have the ultimate respect for Big Z and we view him as a Miami Heat guy even though he's as much of a Cleveland Cavaliers as Udonis Haslem is to us. For that one year, you could see why they view him as so special." ESPN.com

March 3, 2014 Updates

That would afford James plenty of time to make the short flight to Cleveland for Ilgauskas' big night. "I want to be there, but we'll see. I'm not sure just yet," James said. "But I think it's going to be a great day for my friend, a real dear friend of mine. And I'm excited for him." USA Today Sports

James said if he goes, he hopes all the attention remains where it should be, on Ilgauskas. "I hope it doesn't, if I'm able to make it," James said when asked if he was worried that his presence would overshadow the former center. "I hope it doesn't. It's not my day, it's not about me. It's about Z. But it wouldn't matter to me. Obviously I'm there for a dear friend, to be able to support him, if I'm able to make it, and that's the main thing." USA Today Sports

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