On Monday, October 21, 2013, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced they would retire the #11 jersey of Cavaliers legend Zydrunas Ilgauskas on March 8, 2014, at Quicken Loans Arena when they take on the New York Knicks. Ilgaukas was drafted in the first round of the 1996 draft by the Cavaliers and played for 12 seasons with Cleveland.
“Zydrunas represents the very best of how any sports franchise would hope to be represented,” said Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant. “He was a hard working competitor who persevered, was dedicated, inspiring, and was a great teammate. As good as he was on the court, he was just as good off the court and in our community. Everyone that knows Z also knows that he is a kind-hearted, fun-loving and honorable person. He has been a colleague, mentor and friend to many people in the Cavaliers family and we are extremely happy and grateful that he was, is, and always will be a Cleveland Cavalier. His jersey hanging in The Q will be a permanent reflection of all that he has meant to the entire organization and Cleveland.”
The fan favorite affectionately known as “Z” is the 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).
Selected with the 20th overall pick in the 1996 draft, Z logged career averages of 13.0 PPG on .476 shooting, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in 27.2 minutes in 843 games.
Ilgauskas earned NBA All-Star honors in 2003 and 2005 and helped the Cavaliers excel in the playoffs for five consecutive seasons (2006-2010) including the franchise’s first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007.
"I am happy and humbled by this great honor. Cleveland and the Cavaliers have been such a huge part of my life and it will be a very special and proud day for me and my family," said Ilgauskas. "I want to thank the Cavaliers and fans alike because I have been very fortunate to play here, work here and call Cleveland home."
Individual game tickets for this historic night will go on sale Saturday, December 7, 2013, at 10 a.m. EST.