Aug 1, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT
Cleveland fans aren’t dealing with the loss of one favorite son. They’re dealing with two. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a Cavalier for 14 years, headed to Miami with LeBron James to try and win a championship with his friend. James’ betrayal was “king” in Cleveland. Get it? “King?” As in, LeBron James, “King James?” It’s a pun, you see.
Anyway, James’ move to Miami was a much bigger deal than Z, but Z was still a fan favorite. People likely have some run-off hate for him for deserting them, not to mention deserting them for James.
Lost in all this is the fact that Cleveland coach Mike Brown DNP-CD’d Ilgauskas in the game he had brought friends and family in to note him breaking the record for most games by a Cavalier. Then the Cavs traded Z to Washington in order to acquire Antawn Jamison, a necessary move, but one that had to affect how Z thought the Cavs valued him.
But Ilgauskas loved Cleveland and its fans, and as such, he bought space to publish a letter in Sunday’s edition of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. It’s a thoughtful letter looking back on his career. However, saying he hopes Cleveland fans can “understand” his decision to go to Miami?
A bit much to hope for, probably.