HoopsHype Zydrunas Ilgauskas rumors


September 30, 2011 Updates

Former Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas told the Plain Dealer today he is retired after 13 NBA seasons and two trips to the NBA Finals. Ilgauskas, 36, spent nearly his entire career as a Cav and helped the franchise evolve from an also-ran to an Eastern Conference champion in 2007. He spent last season with the Miami Heat and former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. Cleveland Plain Dealer

It's believed the player simply known as "Z" will have opportunities to work for the Cavaliers' organization, but he would not address the topic. His immediate plans are to visit his parents in Lithuania before returning to Miami. Ilgauskas said he's been contemplating retirement for the past few seasons. He knew he had played his final game, Ilgauskas said, after the Heat was eliminated by Dallas in the Finals. He's most proud of his longevity after early foot injuries and surgeries threatened his career. He is a two-time NBA All-Star, who averaged 13 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game. "I will always think of Cleveland as my home," Ilgauskas said. "This was my kids' first home. Cleveland Plain Dealer

August 25, 2011 Updates

In spite of reports to the contrary all over the Internet recently, the Cavaliers have not yet officially discussed retiring former center Zydrunas Ilgauskas' No. 11. While it is certain that will happen at some point in the future _ after all, the much-loved Ilgauskas is the team's all-time leader in games played and rebounds, among other things _ the team has not decided to do so yet. Because of the lockout, the Cavs cannot comment on the situation. Cleveland Plain Dealer

During discussions right after the draft, sources said at that time that it was suggested to Irving (who held up a No. 15 jersey during his introductory press conference in Cleveland) that No. 11 could be a number that would eventually be retired by the team. He was told it was so closely tied to Ilgauskas in Cleveland that he might want to select another number that he could make his own. Eventually, he decided on No. 2. Cleveland Plain Dealer

August 21, 2011 Updates
July 6, 2011 Updates

Exercising his contact option for $1.4 million was a way of buying time, Ilgauskas said as he watched batting practice with his two young sons, Deividas and Povilas. “I just want to keep my options open,” he said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the season. I figure we’ll take it one day at a time, see how my back is.” South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 28, 2011 Updates

If Riley is taken at his word, the Heat might already be set for next season at center, with Zydrunas Ilgauskas recently invoking his opt-in clause for 2011-12 and with Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman under contract for next season. "When I had my exit meeting with him, I didn't know where all the talk was coming from, where all the retirement talk was coming from," Riley said of Ilgauskas, 36. "He's been around a long time; he's a very proud player. I think he's got a lot left in the tank as to how he plays. "I encouraged him not to retire, because I still think he can help somebody, and I want that somebody to be us. I don't want him to be down the road, or up the road, or across the street." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 24, 2011 Updates

Ira Winderman: Riley expects Big Z not to retire. "I personally think he has a lot left in his tank. We are planning to have him on the roster next year." Twitter

June 22, 2011 Updates
June 19, 2011 Updates
June 1, 2011 Updates
May 31, 2011 Updates

Ilgauskas, however, does not want to make his New York his full-time home with the Knicks. Ilgauskas has a player option for next season and told The Post he’ll either retire or stay in South Florida, despite the Knicks’ desperate need for a big center. “I’ve uprooted my family enough,’’ said Ilgauskas, who has two young kids, ages 7 and 6. New York Post

Sources say Ilgauskas has lost his passion for the NBA life. In the Chicago conference finals, the Lithuania native did not play. Against Boston, in the second round, Ilgauskas played in four games, starting three of them, for a total of 36 minutes. He started all five games vs. Philadelphia in the first round. With the size of Dallas, maybe Ilgauskas gets another shot but said he’s not worried. A ring will still mean the same. New York Post

Now James is closer to a title than he has ever been, making his first trip to the NBA finals since 2007, and with a much stronger supporting cast — including a sidekick (Dwyane Wade) who has already won an NBA finals MVP. So what if he wins? Will he start winning in the court of public opinion again? “Everywhere else but Northeast Ohio, yes,” said Ilgauskas, the 15-year veteran who joined James in Miami. “Because the move, it makes sense. He said it was hard to leave home, he didn’t want to leave, but it was all about the winning. He wanted to win, and this presented the best opportunity. So if that comes true, then there’s not much you can say. Because he got the job done, it puts a stamp on it.” MSNBC.com

May 28, 2011 Updates

After the Heat lost 106-95 in Dallas to drop to 9-8 on the season, the players closed the door and held a 45-minute meeting. Some, including this writer, downplayed the significance. But it’s been hard to argue with the aftermath. “We just relaxed a little bit,” Zydrunas Ilgauskas said. “Everybody was so tense, everybody was worried about the crazy predictions coming into the year, 82-0, not lose a game. We started slow, haven’t played together a lot, learning each other. More than anything, it helped us calm down, just play basketball. At that point, we knew we were not going to get the Bulls’ record, just worry about the little things, get our defense better, see how we can move the ball better.” Palm Beach Post

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