Big Z is coming back to Cleveland! The Cavaliers decided that a year away from the organization was too long for Zydrunas Ilgauskas when they announced that the former Cav would be joining the front office to assist GM Chris Grant.
Here is the official announcement from the team.
Ilgauskas played for the Cavaliers for 12 years after being drafted 20th overall in the 1996 draft. As you probably know, Big Z spent last season playing for the Miami Heat in search for his first NBA championship. Unfortunately (?) he didn't get it and announced his retirement this past off-season. During his tenure with the Cavaliers, Z was perhaps the most beloved player on the roster and his love for Cleveland was apparent.
By joining the front office of the organization, Ilgauskas will likely be responsible for assisting in the scouting and evaluation of potential prospects, especially international players. I'm not so sure about Z's experience in running a franchise but he spent a very long time in the NBA and certainly has a firm grasp on the workings of an NBA team.
Ultimately, I'm not sure if this is much more than some good PR for Dan Gilbert and the Cavs, but either way, I'm glad that Big Z is back. He was nothing but class while playing for the Cavs and even when he left after the 2009-10 season, he took a full page ad in the Plain Dealer to thank his fans in Ohio (this cannot be said about every player that left in free agency that year).
On the behalf of Fear The Sword and Cleveland Cavaliers fans everywhere, welcome back Big Z!