The NBA disrespected Cleveland Cavaliers’ legend Zydrunas Ilgauskas once again
The Cleveland Cavaliers can’t catch a break this spring, with the Cavs falling apart down the stretch and Zydrunas Ilgauskas being left off the NBA 75 Euro Vote selection. A group of individuals whittled down the selections to 20 names, and are asking fans to vote on who should be on the first and second All-European Team selections.
The group of 20 include current stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic. It also features some obvious Hall of Famers like Marc and Pau Gasol, Peja Stojakovic, Detlef Schrempf, Tony Parker, and Dirk Nowitzki.
The rest of the group is a collection of Hall of Famers due to their play in the Euro Leagues, as well as borderline All-Stars and some interesting names. That includes Vlade Divac, Sarunas Marciulionis, Arvydas Sabonis, Drazen Petrovic, Dino Radja, Mehmet Okur, Boris Diaw, Goran Dragic, and Hedo Turkoglu.
Some of those names are worthwhile, but considering how easy it is to get into the Naismith Hall of Fame, the fact Ilgauskas isn’t firstly, a Hall a Famer is an insult, and secondly, the fact he wasn’t on this list is even more insulting.
Let’s not pretend that all players on this list deserved to be. Some guys like Petrovic only played two good seasons in the NBA before his untimely passing, Radja only played four seasons, and 224 games total in the NBA. Sure, he played well, but doesn’t consistency and longevity matter?
So who should the NBA have left off to make room for Ilgauskas?
Three players Zydrunas Ilgauskas outperformed
For his career, he averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds for his career and was a pretty poor defender. He’s really known for his one year in Utah where he went to the All-Star game thanks in part to Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer doing most of the heavy lifting.
Sure, Toni Kukoc won three titles in Chicago and is a Naismith Hall of Famer (somehow), but Ilgauskas is a better player historically. He averaged more points in his career, averaged more rebounds in his career, scored more points in totality over Kukoc, and rebounded more in totality over Kukoc. The fact that Kukoc is in the hall of fame but not Ilgauskas is an insult in its own right, but to be passed over on this list? To quote Charles Barkley; “That’s turrible.”
How is a role player on this list over a franchise all-time great? This is insulting. Just flat-out biased and insulting.