RealGM: Taking you back to the NBA, how did it feel to be a part of the tanking situation with the 76ers? On one hand, you get plenty of playing time and a chance to show yourself, but on the other, the team is not competitive and you have to lose on a daily basis. James Anderson: With the players and the coaches, we had the same mindset all year. Who likes to lose? We were not going out and trying to lose on purpose. We had a lot of close games actually that we should have won. It was the same mindset; our coach [Brett] Brown did a great job of keeping everybody together and keep the locker room close. Everybody continued to improve. We just could not get over the hump for a while. It was tough but it was not a mindset of trying to lose.
RealGM: Do you see yourself playing in Europe in upcoming years? James Anderson: Depends on different situations that I have in front of me after the season. I see what situation is best for me and my family and I go that way. I would not mind playing for Euroleague title as basketball here in Europe is as good as it is in the States. The competition here is way better and more skillful that I thought it was before I got here. Once I got here, I was really surprised of the skill level.
RealGM: After that, how did you end up signing with Zalgiris last offseason? James Anderson: Just looked at the pros and cons, different situations and I thought it was the best decision to come over here. I wanted to get adjusted to European life, get my name out there in Europe and play for a good organization. Once they presented me an opportunity, I felt comfortable, weighed pros and cons and went here.
Ilgauskas admitted to Lietuvos rytas daily that he was aware of Lithuanian laws and the risk of losing Lithuanian passport when applying for American citizenship: “I’ve spent half of my life in America. And I stay to live here. My kids and wife are here. All [my] life. I will only return to Lithuania to visit my parents. “I wanted to have a right to vote during presidential elections in America, to vote for local authorities, after all, I’m paying taxes to this state. It has been good to me and my family. “I didn’t take American citizenship after living here for several years. I am here for eighteen years. I knew what I am doing. It is the way it is.”
One of the most successful Lithuanian players in the NBA, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, is no longer Lithuanian citizen. Today the order cancelling his Lithuanian citizenship has been signed by the Minister of Internal Affairs concluding the process that has been widely discussed in the media last year. According to Lithuanian laws, double citizenship is not permitted except for rare cases. In 2013 Ilgauskas became a citizen of the United States of America after taking an oath of citizenship as required by American laws. Lithuanian laws establish that in case a citizen takes a citizenship of another country, such person loses Lithuanian citizenship.