Posts tagged: NBA

Zydrunas Ilgauskas Joins the Miami Heat

via the PD & @PDCavsInsider

MVP Rookie Challenge MVP

Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the heart of the Cavaliers franchise for the past 14 years, is moving on.

Ilgauskas will sign with the Miami Heat to join former Cavs teammate LeBron James, Ilgauskas‘ agent told The Plain Dealer today.

Ilgauskas will accept the veteran’s minimum of $1.3 million for next season.

The Cavs offered Ilgauskas a guaranteed contract, but he elected to go to Miami, where his wife Jennifer has family, and attempt to win a championship with the re-stocked Heat.

“It was a hard decision for him,” said Herb Rudoy, Ilgauskas” longtime agent. “He has 14 years invested in the Cavs and he wants to win a championship. He’s going where he has the best chance to win a championship.”

Ilgauskas is the Cavs franchise’s all-time leader in games played (771), rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269) and

Stood Tall for 14 Years

is second in points (10,616). He made All-Star appearances in 2003 and 2005 after recovering from reconstructive surgery on his foot.

Last season was a difficult one for Ilgauskas as he moved to the bench for the first time to back up Shaquille O’Neal. Then he was traded in February as part of a deal for the Cavs to acquire Antawn Jamison. He took a buyout from the Washington Wizards and returned to the Cavs a month later but had lost his rhythm and his spot in the rotation and he did not play strongly down the stretch.

He averaged 7.4 and 5.4 rebounds in his final year with the team.

One of the better offensive rebounders in NBA history with 2,336 of them, Ilgauskas also still is effective with his mid-range jump shot. The Heat has been looking for big men after letting its starting center, Jermaine O’Neal, leave in free agency.

The Cavs and Heat were one of six teams to show interest in Ilgauskas. Both were believed to be willing to offer him the same contract.

Goodbye Z

Z Can Do Whatever He Wants

Rumors are abuzz that Big Z is likely going to Miami to chase a ring (follow @PDCavsInsider to keep up w/ it).

It would be awesome if he stayed for his last years in Cleveland. But he has more than earned the right to do whatever he wants and receive NO backlash from Cavs/Cleveland supporters.

He was supportive when the Cavs signed Shaq and took a smaller role.

He kept his mouth shut (for the most part) when Brown didn’t play him on his “most games played” record setting night.

He was humble when he was traded (so WE could win, mind you) and was even MORE humble to resign AND take a smaller role.

Great guy. Cavs for life.  Number 11 will hang in the rafters some day. No doubt.

 

Big Z

 

 

Open Letter from CavsHistory.com on the Impact of LeBron’s Decision

Hi Cavs Fans,
I don’t know if we have been properly introduced. My name is Doug Cassidy, I’m a Clevelander (Berea) who now resides in Los Angeles (ironically a decision that I made for a job). I’ve been running CavsHistory.com for just over 10 years. Its mostly a one many shop, but my good friend Matt (@matty_munch) writes here under the pseudonym Crunch every once in a while.

As many of you know, this site is not an editorial site nor an opinion site. At least twice a week I get a request from someone asking if they can “write” for this site. Intentionally I have avoided this because I always intended this site to be a resource for Cavs fans to go to to look up any info that has to do with the Cavs. All objective, no subjective (I will address how I strayed from that a bit later on – and corrected it today).

So, this post is out of character for me, but I wanted to let you all know how I feel about LeBron’s decision and how it will effect this site. Bare with me.

LeBron James is a phenomenal talent from our home state of Ohio who we were undoubtably lucky as

LeBron on Draft Day

Cavs fans to have on “our” team for seven years. One of my best sports memories will be the 2003 draft night. Its the closest I’ve ever known what winning a championship feels like.

 

The site was barely visited in its first three years. And I have to admit after we drafted LeBron his popularity did motivate me to grow and mature the site. Partially because its more fun to work on it while we were winning and partially because his popularity made CavsHistory more popular, which meant I got A LOT more feedback and requests. As you can see, the complete history of the Cavs is continuing to be documented here (with some glaring deficiencies – Box Scores, etc…).

The one part of CavsHistory that I have always been a bit uncomfortable with was “The LeBron Phenomenon” page under Miscellaneous.  It was indeed fun to document all of the things whirling around his success and celebrity, but it just didn’t seem to fit on a site dedicated to a team, not a person.  I have thought about removing that content several times.  And today, I ultimately did. Its gone.  Not out of spite, but because it really doesn’t make sense now that he is not a Cav.

Besides that, how will LeBron leaving impact this site?  Well a few notes:

  1. He will stay in the banner. He is arguably the most important Cavalier in their 40 year history.  He belongs up there with the legends (Shaq might go.. but that is another story)
  2. I have returned his player profile picture back to his rookie photo.  It has always been my policy that I use the original photo of a player when he started with a team (or at least the earliest I can get my hands on). My apologies to Z, but your goofy rookie photo stays. I put up a more recent photo of him this past year.  Why? because I thought it was a cool picture. Now, I just can’t see giving him special treatment.
  3. The rest stays the same. I have the full intention of dedicating a lot of time to maturing this site for your enjoyment and reference.

Now to the opinion part.  I am dreading this.

I actually felt embarrassed for LeBron and the way that he decided to present himself and his decision. I thought it was inappropriate and not handled well. I am extremely disappointed that he is leaving and I personally do not think it is the right choice for him or his legacy, but as a Cleveland fan I have learned that this will happen and I cannot take that choice personally.  But, the way that he conducted himself I have trouble not taking offense to.  The fanfare may have proved that yes, he is undoubtably the biggest star on the NBA landscape, and possibly in all of American sports but I do not think that means you should casually behave as such.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to have his talents or stature.  The pressure must be crushing.  But I am also reminded of the gifts he has been given as well. I believe that his conduct leading up to the decision was surprisingly disconnected with reality and worst of all extremely narcissistic.

 

Why do this with such lack of tact?

Cavs fans.  We now have to do something that we have avoided doing for a long, long time.  Take our blinders off. LeBron’s behavior throughout his NBA career has been consistently less than humble.  “I played great” “My talents” “I carried our team”.  These are things that a self aware person, a humble person should ultimately leave for others to say. His demeanor has always made me uncomfortable. But, I forgave him because of his very odd life experiences.  I doubt I would be very grounded if I had been told I was the best basketball player on earth since I was 15.  It must be confusing. Also, he was our star.

But make no mistake. Forgiveness or not, he is not MY player any more.  I am not HIS fan.  I will hold him up to the same scrutiny as I do anyone else. No more, no less.

It will be hard for me to part with a lot of the things that adorn my office.  LeBron’s Nike shoes, McFarlane statuettes, cool posters.  But I will.  I am a Cavs fan.  And unfortunately this means I now actively root against LeBron James.

Stay strong an cheer with pride. We root for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

Go Cavs,
Doug (dcass) – @CavsHistory

p.s. I want to thank some really cool people in the Cavs network for just being cool

  • Glen Infante – (@GlenInfante) insanely talented  artist. Has his hands in RealCavsFans, LeBron2010, and ILTHY.  He may have done more than any other single individual to actively get LeBron to see how much we wanted him to say.
  • Ben – (@realcavsfans) over at RealCavsFans – best Cavs Talk site on the web.
  • Brian Spaeth – (@brianspaeth) actor, writer, promoter?, Cavs Fan and (my opinion) slightly insane
  • Scott – (@WFNYScott) great, great, GREAT writer for Waiting for Next Year. Keep it up.
  • Brian Windhost – (@PDcavsinsider) Cavs beat writer for the ABJ and now the Plain Dealer. At least we still have the best in the biz in this respect.
  • Amanda Petrak – (@apetrakcavs)A childhood friend who is now PR Director for the Cavs.  She never let her success or the success of the team change her.
  • and most of all: Dan Gilbert – Cavs majority owner and a personal idol of mine in business (read his “isms” sometime – he “gets it”) – he has done so much for LeBron, this organization and Cleveland.  His leadership has helped me realize that the owners win championships, not the players.  He’s got the goods guys.  Just you wait.

Cavaliers Exercise Team Option on Leon Powe

he Cleveland Cavaliers have exercised the team option on forward Leon Powe, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not announced. 

In returning from a knee-injury that kept him out of action for the first half of the 2009-10 season, Powe returned to the court and played in 20 games

Powe

Powe

(two starts), averaging 4.0 points on .429 shooting and 3.1 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game. In 209 career games (16 starts), Powe has averaged 6.3 points on .517 shooting and 4.1 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game.

“Leon has worked hard to rehab and get himself back on the court this past season. Now he has a full summer to continue working, play more basketball and come back to start next season better than ever,” said Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry. 

The 6-foot-8 forward was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 49th overall draft pick in the 2006 NBA Draft and traded for by Boston on draft night. He signed with the Cavaliers as a free agent on August 11, 2009. In 2005-06, Powe led the PAC-10 in scoring (20.5 points per game) and rebounding (10.1 rebounds per game) at California, becoming only the sixth player in conference history to accomplish the feat while earning All-PAC-10 honors.

 

LeBron James to be named NBA Most Valuable Player on Sunday (via PD)

via Windy (@PDcavsinsider) at the PD

 

LBJ MVP

Copyright Associated Press

CLEVELAND, Ohio — LeBron James of the Cavaliers will become the 10th player in NBA history to win back-to-back Most Valuable Player Awards when results of the nationwide voting are announced on Sunday, sources have told The Plain Dealer.

 

James is expected to have a press conference at The University of Akron and accept the Maurice Podoloff Trophy and the Kia car that comes with the honor Sunday.

Last season, when James won for the first time, he accepted at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron

James played numerous high school games at Akron’s Rhodes Arena, is a supporter of the Zips basketball program and head coach Keith Dambrot, and holds his annual Nike camp for the top high school prospects at the university’s facilities.

NBA Commissioner David Stern is expected to formally give James the trophy before Monday’s Game 2 against the Boston Celtics at The Q.

At age 25, James becomes the second-youngest to win back-to-back MVPs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a couple of months younger when he won his back-to-back award in 1972. The others two win back-to-back are Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Abdul-Jabbar. Only Bird, Chamberlain and Russell ever won the award three years in a row.

Last year James won in a landslide, getting 109 of the first-place 121 votes given out to sportswriters and broadcasters who cover the league. This year, James is expected to approach winning the award unanimously.

However, several voters have said they did not plan to vote for James. This year the NBA also allowed fans to vote, with their preference to make up the 122nd vote. The results of the voting will be announced Sunday by the league.

James averaged 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 8.6 assists per game in leading the Cavs to a second consecutive 60-win season. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month four times during the season.

Z is Coming Home (via PD)

link via By Mary Schmitt Boyer, The Plain Dealer

Zydrunas Ilgauskas has announced his intentions to rejoin the Cavaliers and has asked agent Herb Rudoy to begin negotiations with the Cavs on March 22, the first date he can do so.

“It is Zydrunas’ desire to return to the Cavaliers if a suitable contract can be agreed upon,” Rudoy said in an e-mail sent to reporters. “He has been overwhelmed and deeply touched by the outpouring of support and affection by the fans and by his teammates. He hopes to return to bring a championship to the Cavaliers and to the city of Cleveland.”

Ilgauskas was traded to Washington in the deal that brought Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair to the Cavs. After the Wizards bought out his contact, he cleared waivers and became a free agent Monday.

The Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks were among the teams seeking to sign him, along with the Cavs, who have been without a true center since Shaquille O’Neal suffered a sprained right thumb at Boston on Feb. 25.”

 

Waiting for March 22

Waiting for March 22

 

 

I’m Getting Worried About the Z Situation

New info has come out that (via ESPN) Z’s agent said Z love the city of Cleveland and the fans… but was not at all please being “used as a pawn in the Jamison trade”.  link

Also, via Windy’s podcast, Z is feeling shakey about re-joining the team that has a full roster.  In other-words, he would feel guilty forcing the Cavs to cut one of the guys.

Z Just Prior to Being the First Person to Ever "Dunk" a Bowling Ball

Z Just Prior to Being the First Person to Ever "Dunk" a Bowling Ball

LeBron Player of the Month (6 and counting)

we keep track of this stuff here

Going back to March of LAST year, James has won the award every-single-month

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for games played during February.

James paced the league in scoring (32.6 ppg), was fourth in assists (10.5 apg) and added 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 41.4 minutes. James scored at least 20 points in all 11 contests, leading Cleveland to an Eastern Conference-best 8-3 record. James recorded his third triple-double of the season on Feb. 18, with 43 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high tying 15 assists. On Feb. 6, James set a franchise record with 35 points in the first half of Cleveland’s 113-106 win at New York. James finished the game with 47 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and a season-high five steals.

Here is a closer look at the month for James:

LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

• Feb. 2 vs. Memphis: Totaled 22 points, 15 assists and six rebounds in a 105-89 win over the Grizzlies. 

• Feb. 6 vs. New York: Poured in 47 points, and added eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals in a 113-106 win over the Knicks.

• Feb. 11 vs. Orlando: Recorded 32 points, 13 assists, eight rebounds and two steals in a 115-106 win over the Magic.

• Feb. 18 vs. Denver: Posted 43 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists and two steals in a 118-116 overtime loss to the Nuggets.

• Feb. 25 @ Boston: Tallied 36 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in a 108-88 win over the Celtics.

 

Z Update: He has Officially Cleared Waivers

that’s all.

Can’t sign w/ Cavs until 3/22.  Can sign with anyone else whenever.

The Great Trade I Didn’t Want to Happen

Well, it happened.  The day the Cavs traded away my favorite player to go for the ring.  I can only hope Z gets bought out. If not, it will sour my love of the Cavaliers for a long time.

For years if you went to a Cavs game you know the first offensive play would be a dump pass into the post to Ilgauskas and whole crowd would go “ZZZZZZZZZZZZ!” Its one of my favorite things in sports.

I know you root for the name on the front of the jersey and not the one on the back, but I like rooting for Z. Hope to see you in 30 days my man.

Z

Why don't you love me anymore?

Here’s the details:

A 3 team trade in which the Wizards received Zydrunas Ilgauskas and the Cavaliers’ 2010 first-round pick as well as Al Thornton from the Los Angeles Clippers. They sent newly aquired Drew Gooden to the Clippers. The Cavaliers received point guard Sebastian Telfair from the Clippers and Antawn Jamison from the stupid Wizards.