The Cleveland Cavaliers have undergone quite a bit of change over the past few decades, most notably the departure of LeBron James after the 2009-2010 NBA season concluded. However, one of the staples of their franchise over the past decade and a half was center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who played with the Cavs exclusive from 1997-2010.
Ilgauskas went to the Miami Heat with LeBron in the summer of 2010, but retired after only the one season. Out of the league for two years now, the Cavaliers are going to honor the big Lithuanian center in a manner that he deserves for what he gave to the team.
According to Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cavaliers plan to retire Ilgauskas’ No. 11 jersey on March 8 as Cleveland faces off with the New York Knicks. There haven’t been many details about the ceremony announced or even planned for the event that is still four and a half months away, but it is happening.
In his time with Cleveland, Ilgauskas made two All-Star teams, 10,616 points, 5,904 rebounds, 1,269 blocks and 929 assists. He’s also the Cavs’ all-time leader in games played, rebounds, offensive boards and blocks. Moreover, Ilgauskas’ 11 is the first number to be retired in Cleveland since 1999 when the team retired Mark Price’s.
Though Iglauskas may not have been the most electrifying player to ever come to Cleveland, he certainly gave a lot to the team in his 12 seasons there. He provided a constant presence on the interior for the team and was always there giving for 100 percent effort. He may not be the greatest ever, but he deserves this honor from the Cavs.