Zydrunas Ilgauskas took out a full page ad in yesterday's Plain Dealer, thanking the fans for his time spent in Cleveland. It's a nice gesture, but why does the wording leave an odd taste in our mouths?
But what all those so-long-and-thanks-for-the-memories missives have in common is that they refer only to the past, and don't even mention that they're going to another team. Which is probably the way it should be. Titans fans want to remember the time Bulluck spent in powder blue, not that he's going to be on a new team this year, and trying to beat Tennessee in week 3.
So then, what to make of this, from Big Z's letter?
The decision to play for Miami was not an easy one to make for either myself or my family.
"But as I enter the last few years of my career, I felt I owed it to myself and my family to chase my dream of winning an NBA championship.
"I hope you understand."
Understand what? That the Cavs don't have a chance in hell of winning (despite one Comic-Sans prediction)? That he loves Cleveland so much, he's willing to go to the team it hates the most just to get a ring?
Reaction is mixed in the Plain Dealer comments, with fans wishing him the best, but wishing it was anywhere but Miami (with a healthy dose of "but if Z wins a title, that means LeBron does too!").
An ad is a nice idea, and we encourage all athletes to consider it. But if you're leaving through free agency, don't feel like you have to address that part. It's like breaking up with someone by telling them how much better your new significant other is.
Ilgauskas thanks Cavs fans for support [Plain Dealer]