LeBron James, who had a historic night of his own on Monday, is thinking about attending the jersey retirement ceremony of ex-teammate and good friend Zydrunas Ilgauskas this Saturday in Cleveland, ESPN reported.
James played alongside Ilgauskas for the first eight years of his career including one with the Miami Heat when the team lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. After falling short of a title together in Cleveland, the duo gave it a try in Miami for the 2010-2011 campaign but still couldn't close the deal. Ilgauskas went on to retire after that season while James and the Heat have won back-to-back titles.
Outside of that one year in Miami, Ilgauskas played his entire career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and ranks near the top in several of their historical statistics. That has led the franchise to honor him with a jersey retirement where they will raise his #11 to the rafters. It is sure to be a great ceremony for a player that is beloved by the fans in Cleveland.
James may end up taking some of the spotlight away from Ilgauskas if he attends, however. He is aware of that and hopes that is not what occurs.
"It's not my day, it's not about me. It's about Z," James told ESPN.
The Heat are off on Saturday in what will be their second straight day off prior to a game against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. Finding the time to attend the ceremony should not be an issue for James due to this but he still isn't sure at this time if he will be there. Whether he attends the ceremony or not, James made it clear that Ilgauskas played a big role in his career.
"I give a lot of credit to what I've been able to accomplish to (Ilgauskas), because when I came in the league as a rookie, you try to find veteran leadership, someone to grab onto as far as how to be a professional, and he was that guy for me," James added to ESPN.