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Žydrūnas Ilgauskas ( ) (born June 5, 1975) is a Lithuanianmarker professional basketball player in the NBA who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He plays the center position.

Pro career

Ilgauskas in a NBA game against the Washington Wizards in 2007.
Ilgauskas made his pro debut in his hometown of Kaunasmarker with the Atletas Basketball Club. He averaged 20.3 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.

Ilgauskas was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 20th pick of the 1996 NBA Draft.

He suffered through myriad foot injuries early in his career. He spent the entire 1996-97 season on the injured list due to a broken bone in his right foot.

Despite being selected to the All-Rookie First Team in 1997-98 and signing a contract extension in 1998 that was worth 70.9 million over 6 years, Ilgauskas played only in 5 games over the next two seasons. On January 26, 2000, he had a surgery on a fractured navicular bone in his left foot.

He remained the starting center for the Cavaliers in 2000-01. However, he was injured again in December 2000 and was out for the season. The injury dealt a blow to the Cavaliers. After winning 15 out of 23 games with Ilgauskas, they finished with a 30-52 record.

He returned in December 2001 and was mostly used as a backup to Chris Mihm for the rest of the season.

Ilgauskas averaged 17.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 2002-03. He was selected as an All-Star, but the Cavaliers finished with the third-worst record in team history (17-65) and landed the number one draft pick.

The Cavaliers drafted high school phenomenon and future NBA MVP LeBron James in 2003. James teamed up with Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden to form the core of the team. Ilgauskas only missed 9 games over the next three seasons and was selected as an All-Star again in 2005.

On July 12, 2005, Ilgauskas signed a contract extension with the Cavaliers. The deal was reportedly worth over 55 million over 5 years.

For the next four seasons, Ilgauskas was the starting center for the team, which had turned into a contender. They reached the NBA Finals in 2007 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009. However, in summer 2009, the Cavaliers acquired Shaquille O'Neal. When asked about the trade, Ilgauskas responded: "I was just reading the news. That means I'll probably be coming off the bench."

Ilgauskas is one of two active players who have been with the same team for 13 years, the other being Kobe Bryant.

National team

Ilgauskas wanted to play for Lithuania national team in the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Cavaliers did not permit him to play due to his injury history.

Personal

Ilgauskas married his wife, Jennifer, during the summer of 2004. In the summer of 2009,Ilgauskas adopted two Lithuanian brothers (aged five and four at the time) from his hometown of Kaunas.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

1997–98
Cleveland
82 81 29.0 .518 .250 .762 8.8 .9 .6 1.6 13.9
1998–99
Cleveland
5 5 34.2 .509 .000 .600 8.8 .8 .8 1.4 15.2
2000–01
Cleveland
24 24 25.7 .487 .000 .679 6.7 .8 .6 1.5 11.7
2001–02
Cleveland
62 23 21.4 .425 .000 .754 5.4 1.1 .3 1.4 11.1
2002–03
Cleveland
81 81 30.0 .441 .000 .781 7.5 1.6 .7 1.9 17.2
2003–04
Cleveland
81 81 31.3 .483 .286 .746 8.1 1.3 .5 2.5 15.3
2004–05
Cleveland
78 78 33.5 .468 .286 .799 8.6 1.3 .7 2.1 16.9
2005–06
Cleveland
78 78 29.3 .506 .000 .834 7.6 1.2 .5 1.7 15.6
2006–07
Cleveland
78 78 27.3 .485 .000 .807 7.7 1.6 .6 1.3 11.9
2007–08
Cleveland
73 73 30.4 .474 .000 .802 9.3 1.4 .5 1.6 14.1
2008–09
Cleveland
65 65 27.2 .472 .385 .799 7.5 1.0 .4 1.3 12.9
2009–10
Cleveland
16 6 24.3 .378 1.000 .710 6.2 .6 .3 1.4 7.1
Career
723 673 28.9 .475 .269 .781 7.8 1.2 .5 1.7 14.2
All-Star
2 0 10.5 .556 .000 1.000 3.5 .5 .0 1.0 6.0

Playoffs

1997–98
Cleveland
4 4 36.8 .571 .000 .520 7.5 .5 .5 1.2 17.3
2005–06
Cleveland
13 13 27.2 .454 .000 .750 6.3 .8 .4 2.1 10.4
2006–07
Cleveland
20 20 32.5 .492 .000 .838 9.7 .9 .4 .8 12.6
2007–08
Cleveland
13 13 30.2 .479 .000 .818 7.5 1.6 .4 1.1 13.1
2008-09
Cleveland
14 14 29.1 .449 .154 .636 7.8 1.2 .4 .9 10.5
Career
64 64 30.5 .479 .154 .748 8.0 1.0 .4 1.2 12.1

Notes

  1. Cavs to sign big man to five-year deal
  2. Cavaliers to announce re-signing of C Ilgauskas on Tuesday
  3. Cavaliers Acquire 15-Time NBA All-Star and Four-Time NBA Champion Shaquille ONeal
  4. Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas reacts to the arrival of Shaquille O'Neal
  5. Zydrunas Ilgauskas knows what it means that Shaquille O'Neal has joined the Cleveland Cavaliers
  6. Cavs Deny Zydrunas Ilgauskas a Chance to Play in Olympics


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