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Cavaliers to retire jersey of Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Feb 26, 2014, 9:28 PM EDT

source: Getty Images

Zydrunas Ilgauskas played 12 of his 13 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the franchise is repaying that devotion by retiring his #11 jersey later this season.

From the official release:

In a spectacular presentation of techno-artistry, the halftime ceremony will be one of the most memorable player tributes to ever take place at The Q as Z’s legendary career is captured in vivid 3-D video imagery projected on the Cavs basketball court. Then, watching with his family by his side, and in presence of fans and special guests that span his career, Zydrunas Ilgauskas’#11 will take its place next to Austin Carr, Nate Thurmond, Bobby “Bingo” Smith, Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price and the former “Voice of the Cavs,” Joe Tait. … is a specially created microsite for fans to learn more about the legendary player who made his mark in the Cavaliers record books. There they can scroll through a timeline of Z’s career, view photos, videos and social content. Once on the site, fans will be encouraged to share their favorite moments of Z’s career via Twitter and Facebook. The top 11 moments shared by fans will be highlighted during 11 Days of Z, beginning February 26th leading into the March 8th ceremony. The number one most shared moment will be announced at the game. …

Ilgauskas, who is currently the Special Assistant to the General Manager of the Cavaliers , has stamped his name throughout the Cavaliers record books and was a core part of some of the most successful teams in Cavs history. While ranking in the top five of numerous statistical categories, Z is the all-time franchise leader in games played (771), offensive rebounds (2,336), total rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269) while ranking second in points scored (10,616).

The NBA does a fantastic job of remembering the legends of the game and even the individuals that meant so much to a particular team or market during their respective careers. Ilgauskus fits the latter category for the Cavaliers, and the jersey retirement seems to be well-deserved.

  1. eureca323 - Feb 26, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    “Her?” – Michael Bluth

  2. rustyshackleford1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Z!!!!!!!!!!! Miss those corner 3s

    • ProBasketballPundit - Feb 28, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      You do? He didn’t hit too many of those. 31 total 3’s for his career. Most of them in his last two seasons with the Cavs.

      • rustyshackleford1 - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        and i loved every one

    • ProBasketballPundit - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      I love Big Z too only because I’ve been following LeBron for so long. He was basically the taller, slower version of Chris Bosh… at least the role that Bosh plays in the Heat’s offense now. How many of LeBron’s 5650 career assists came on Big Z/Bosh pick & pops mid range jumpers?

  3. mackcarrington - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    Take that, LeBron!!

  4. jzone954 - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    “Take that Lebron!!” LMBO!

  5. antistratfordian - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    I particularly loved that time when Z turned down the Cavs offer to stay and he instead bolted to Miami. Good memories!

  6. m3dman3 - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    I would say wow but it’s Cleveland. Ugh, wow.

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    It’s not retired already? Man, the Cavs suck.

  8. kb2408 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    When your franchise has never won anything, and the majority of your best players end up going elsewhere, this is what you’re left with….jersey retirement ceremonies for slightly above average players.

  9. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Feb 27, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Big Z was great in NBA2k11.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:40 AM

      In the NBA Big Z was a pretty good player. On NBA Live/2K the man’s a LEGEND!

      • bougin89 - Feb 28, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        Unblockable and amazingly slow release elbow jumpers with a defender right in his face would be swished with ease by Big Z on 2K14!

  10. henryd3rd - Feb 27, 2014 at 3:45 AM

    Maybe now LeBron will want to return to Cleveland?

  11. campcouch - Feb 27, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    he endured some major physical setbacks and miserable teams. Nice guy and solid player. Congrats on the career.

  12. unxpexted1 - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Cleveland history at it’s finest

  13. alexb1234 - Feb 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    THAT’S the list of players who the cavs have up in the rafters? Damn I feel bad for Cavs fans

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