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Fans have selected two-time NBA All-Star Zydrunas “Z” Ilgauskas as the bobblehead to represent the “Gund Arena” Era of Cavaliers basketball from 1994-2003. The exclusive bobblehead will feature the beloved Ilgauskas in a retro Cavs uniform. Big Z is the third of five Era Night bobblehead giveaways to be voted on by fans as part of the Cavs 50th Season Celebration and will be given away to all fans in attendance at one of the designated “Gund Arena” Era Nights during the upcoming season.
Ilgauskas’ tremendous 14-year career in Cleveland began when the 7’3” center was selected by the Cavaliers as the 20th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team for the 1997-98 season and named an NBA All-Star during the 2002-03 and 2004-05 seasons.
In his six playoff appearances with the Wine & Gold, Z is tied for fourth in games played (71), while ranking third in offensive rebounds (180), and fourth place in minutes played (2,017), defensive rebounds (343) and total boards (523).
Before wrapping up his career in Cleveland following the 2009-10 season, Z would go on to become one of just four Cavaliers to have topped the 10,000-point mark (10,616), joining Austin Carr (10,265), Brad Daugherty (10,389) and LeBron James (23,119).
One day after breaking the 10,000-point plateau, Big Z swatted four shots against the New Jersey Nets to become the franchise’s all-time leader in blocks, finishing with 1,269.
Ilgauskas, who still ranks in the team’s top 10 in 12 major categories, is also the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in offensive rebounds (2,336) and ranks second in total rebounds (5,904).
When his career with Cleveland came to an end, Ilgauskas had suited up for 771 games as a Cavalier, more than any player in franchise history at the time. In the process, Z became one of the most respected and loved Cavalier players in franchise history, by the fans, his teammates and the entire organization alike. The Cavaliers retired his number (11) on March 8, 2014.
Fans will have the opportunity to vote on the “New Wine & Gold” Era bobblehead giveaway beginning September 16th though September 23rd on Cavs.com/Bobblehead.