Links to the Present: January 19, 2012

January 19th, 2012 by Colin McGowan

“The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced that Zydrunas Ilgauskas is joining the team’s front office as Special Assistant to the General Manager. The announcement was made today by Cavs General Manager Chris Grant. In his role as Special Assistant to the General Manager, Ilgauskas will be involved with front office responsibilities, including evaluation of amateur and professional prospects.” [NBA.com]

“Emotionally, bringing Z back is really important to me as a fan. Austin Carr will always be “Mr. Cavalier”, but to my generation, Zydrunas Ilgauskas represents those same traits. It’s a mix of longevity and loyalty in the face of crippling injuries, a warm personality, and an embracing of Cleveland as a second home. I know the knee-jerk reaction is to say “this is just a publicity stunt by our owner who’s always got an agenda”. I’m not that cynical. Sometimes, an agreement between two parties just makes too much sense to not occur. How else does a former player get a start in the front office anyway? Wayne Embry and Danny Ferry needed someone to give them their first gig. Ferry and Ilgauskas remain close friends, and no doubt Ferry has communicated to Z what it takes to evaluate players from a front office perspective.” [Kirk at WFNY]

“Last fall, USA TODAY published an article about the Duke men’s basketball team, in which head coach Mike Krzyzewski compared then-Duke star Kyrie Irving to NBA All-Star Chris Paul.  When told of those comments last month in an interview with USA TODAY, Irving paused, then said, ‘There’s only one Kyrie Irving.’ While a comparison to Paul may be bold, Irving’s performance through his first 13 games can draw comparisons not only to Paul, but is also surpassing what LeBron James did as a rookie for the Cleveland Cavaliers.” [Justin Havens]