Zydrunas Ilgauskas told the Plain Dealer today he is retiring after 13 NBA seasons and two trips to the NBA Finals. “Enough is enough,” Ilgauskas said. “My body is beat up and I’m tired physically. There is no age limit, but everyone knows when it’s time. I want to spend more time with my family. I have spent the last 15 years living out of a suitcase.”
Ilgauskas, 36, spent nearly his entire career as a Cav and helped the franchise evolve. He spent last season with the Miami Heat and former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James. The center owns Cavaliers career records for games played (771), rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269). He is second in points with 10,616.
In his season with the Heat, Big Z started in 51 of his 72 regular-season appearances, averaging 5 points on .508 shooting and 4 rebounds in an average of 15.9 minutes. He finished 40th in the NBA in blocked shots per game, at 0.81, leading the Heat in blocked shots 21 times.
There are rumors that Big Z will have opportunities to work for the Cavaliers’ organization, but he would not address the topic. His immediate plans are to visit his parents in Lithuania before returning to Miami. Ilgauskas said he’s been contemplating retirement for the past few seasons. He knew he had played his final game, Ilgauskas said, after the Heat was eliminated by Dallas in the Finals
Due to the lockout the Heat are not allowed to comment on Z retiring. I’m actually upset about him retiring before he could actually win a ring. He could just sit on the bench all season then when Heat win :) claim his ring lol. Just like all the other bench riders in the NBA.