Zydrunas Ilgauskas ‘on the Fence’ About Retirement

by July 07, 2011
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Big Z hasn’t figured out what he’ll do next, but if he decides to stick around the NBA, Ilgauskas says the Miami Heat are likely his only option. The Sun-Sentinel reports: “Just because Miami Heat backup center Zydrunas Ilgauskas recently exercised his player option for 2011-12 doesn’t mean he’s definitely planning to return for a 14th season in the NBA. Retirement is still a possibility with the NBA lockout just beginning. ‘If I play, it will be in Miami,’ Big Z told me Tuesday night at Sun Life Stadium, before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Phillies-Marlins game. ‘Right now I’m just kind of on the fence.’ Exercising his contact option for $1.4 million was a way of buying time, Ilgauskas said as he watched batting practice with his two young sons, Deividas and Povilas. ‘I just want to keep my options open,’ he said. ‘Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the season. I figure we’ll take it one day at a time, see how my back is.’ Heat President Pat Riley recently expressed surprise that retirement had even been discussed in relation to the 7-foot-3 Ilgauskas, a former two-time All-Star center. However, their year-end chat centered around that decision-making process.”