LeBron James Criticizes Coach for Benching Ilgauskas on Verge of Record

November 30th, 2009 by Tom Delamater Leave a reply »
Cleveland’s LeBron James set off a media firestorm Monday when he questioned Mike Brown’s decision not to play center Zydrunas Ilgauskas in Saturday’s game against Dallas.

Ilgauskas reportedly was devastated by the move, which came as a surprise in an easy 111-95 win for the Cavaliers. For one thing, he remains a solid NBA center, although age has slowed him and his skills have diminished since his prime.

But what was startling about Brown’s decision was that Ilgauskas was poised that night to break the Cavs’ franchise record for games played. He had tied current GM Danny Ferry for the top spot in Cavaliers history on Friday night in Charlotte, when he suited up for the 723rd time as a Cavalier.

Ilgauskas hasn’t spoken to the media since the benching, but James was clearly mystified by his coach’s actions. Saying he didn’t know who was responsible for the decision, and claiming that he wasn’t trying to stir anything up, he went on to do exactly that by expressing his disappointment in what happened and his support for Ilgauskas.

“I stand behind Z and I feel like Z not pl ...

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