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Zydrunas Ilgauskas

The meaning of «zydrunas ilgauskas»

Zydrunas Ilgauskas (Lithuanian: Žydrūnas Ilgauskas; Lithuanian pronunciation: [ʑiːˈdrûːnɐs ɪɫˈɡɐ̂ˑʊ̯skɐs] (listen); born June 5, 1975) is a Lithuanian-American retired professional basketball center of the National Basketball Association (NBA).[1] He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1996 to 2010, and is the team's career leader in blocks. He also played for the Miami Heat during the 2010–11 season.[2]

In 2012, Ilgauskas joined the Cavaliers' front office, becoming a special advisor for the team.[3][4]

Ilgauskas made his professional debut in his birthplace of Kaunas, with local club Atletas in 1993. He averaged 20.3 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game in the 1994–95 season.

Ilgauskas was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 20th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft. On August 1, 1996, he signed a multi-year deal with the Cavaliers. In the earliest parts of his career he suffered through a myriad of foot and ankle injuries. He spent the entire 1996–97 season on the injured list due to a broken bone in his right foot.

He was named the most valuable player of the Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend and selected to the All-Rookie First Team in 1997–98. He signed a contract extension in 1998 that was worth $70.9 million over 6 years. However, Ilgauskas played in only 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 re-gained the starting center spot for the Cavaliers in 2000–01. 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.[5][6]

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. In summer 2009, the Cavaliers acquired Shaquille O'Neal.[7] When asked about the trade, Ilgauskas responded: "I was just reading the news. That means I'll probably be coming off the bench."[8][9] On December 2, 2009, Ilgauskas came off the bench in a game against Phoenix Suns to break the team record for career games played, overtaking General Manager Danny Ferry.[10]

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