Cleveland Cavaliers: Zydrunas Ilgauskas Deserving of Retired Jersey?

August 27th, 2011 by Ryan Sponseller Leave a reply »
Bingo Smith, Larry Nance, Mark Price, Austin Carr, Nate Thurmond, Brad Daugherty, and...Zydrunas Ilgauskas?

News of Kyrie Irving’s suggested avoidance of No. 11 points to the Cavaliers retiring Big Z’s jersey, pointing to a homecoming that will rival that of Jim Thome’s return to the Tribe. Loyalty has been associated with Ilgauskas tenure with the Cavs, having played the most games for the Cavaliers with 771, 48 more than Danny Ferry’s 723.

Has Ilgauskas truly been loyal to Cleveland, or are fans making the comment to further profess their hatred of LeBron James?

Ilgauskas was selected with the 20th pick in 1996 draft, along with power forward Vitaly Potapenko with hopes of securing the Cavaliers front court for the future. Those hopes were postponed as Ilgauskas missed the 1996-97 season with a broken bone in his right foot.

Excitement for the 7'3" Lithuainian was realized in Ilgauskas’ rookie season where he averaged 13.9 points a game, anchored the Cavs to an exit in the first round of the playoffs, and was selected to the 1997-98 All-Rookie Team. The excellent freshman season led to a contract e ...

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