Posts tagged: Z

Big Z Calls it a Day

Z on Draft Day

As reported by the PD’s Tom Reed, Big Z hangs it up.

CLEVELAND: 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.

The center owns Cavaliers career records for games played (771), rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269). He is second in points with 10,616.

He ranks 40th all-time in the NBA with 0.81 shots blocked per game. 

 ”Enough is enough,” Ilgauskas said. “My body is beat up and I’m tired physically. There is no age limit, but everyone knows when it’s time.”

Big Z

Ilgauskas is in Cleveland today attending the opening of an urgent care facility that’s owned by his wife. The family has two small kids, who attend school in Miami.

“I want to spend more time with my family,” he said. “I have spent the past 15 years living out of a suitcase. It’s time.”

He appeared in just nine playoff games last season for the Heat, averaging 11.6 minutes and 3.6 points.

Z was a tough dude

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. 

All-Time Leader

“There are so many great memories here and I was lucky to play in one place for so long. To experience so many lows and then so many highs was special. There were the division titles and the conference championship. The early disappointments made the winning that much better.”

One of his favorites moments was capturing the Eastern Conference title at the Q against Detroit. The victory propelled the Cavs into their only NBA Finals appearance in which they were swept by San Antonio.

“I really enjoyed those years, but I would tell the young guys not to take anything for granted. We made those trips to the playoffs and had all those national TV games, but nothing lasts forever. I was there when the arena was empty. I can appreciate the whole experience now.”

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Much respect goes out to Z from CavsHistory.  He was the longest tenured Cavs ever, had a great sense of humor and was part of both the lowest of lows and the highest of highs in Cavs history.  Lets hope we get to see #11 hanging up in the Q.

Enjoy the below photo gallery of the big guy.

Cavs vs. Wizards (no Wall tonight)

Cavs in DC

Cavs in DC

Cavs are in DC to take on the Wizards tonight.  Wall won’t play due to a suspension from getting into a fight with Cavs alum Z.

Big Z Thanks Fans, Asks for Understanding

On the heels of the longest tenured Cav in history signing with the Heat to chase a championship, Zydrunas takes a path less traveled… he asks for understanding.

Check out the ad he placed in the Plain Dealer on Sunday:

 

Dear Cleveland....

As always, Z is a class act.

 

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

 

 

Why Don’t You Buy Some “Z – Tees”? I have.

But then again, I am obviously obsessed.

Here’s the best 3 floating around the web:

Fresh Brewed Tees - Better With Z

Fresh Brewed Tees - Better With Z

LINK

These two are from our buds over at iLTHY

Loved Since 1996

Loved Since 1996

LINK

Goose-Z

Goose-Z

LINK

Z is Home. Anybody Wanna Buy Some DVDs? I Do, Z. I Do.

via Ohio.com and my homie George Thomas

“The Cleveland Cavaliers completed a deal with center Zydrunas Ilgauskas to bring him back to the team for the remainder of the season.

The deal is just for the rest of the year and uses a pro-rated portion of the bi-annual exception. Ilgauskas will be able to test the free agent market next season.

‘’He came back to win a championship,’’ agent Herb Rudoy said.”

There are many ways to celebrate!

Go to your barber! Try and sell some DVDs

Buy a cool T-Shirt!

 

Goose-Z

Goose-Z

 

 

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

Z Update: He has Officially Cleared Waivers

that’s all.

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