It's not quite a shocker but it's still a bummer. LithuaniaBasketball.com is reporting that Zydrunas Ilgauskas will retire this season.
"I think I’ve had enough of this game. I’ve played enough. Sitting on the bench doing nothing is not what I want to do. The long trips and the intensive schedule have taken its toll – I’m not a 20-year-old anymore and my body is telling me that it would be the right time to retire from NBA after this season. I have given everything I could to basketball and now I’d like to spend more time with my family," Ilgauskas told alietuvis.com after the Heat lost to the Chicago Bulls. "If I was younger, I might have had a problem with not playing, but with fewer minutes, I can keep my body rested. I’m just doing my job and doing what’s best for my team. I need to take care of my health and I can do that with less playing time. There are younger guys in our team, who can bring some energy. As a player, I just need to be ready to play and help my teammates and that’s really all I can do," said Ilgauskas.Oddly, these comments were made after the Bulls game yet no one else reported this (I personally did not see Big Z after the game). He signed a two-year deal with the Heat for $2.8 million with the second year a player option. Big Z turns 36 in June and will leave after 13 seasons in the NBA. Heat nation will now hope he retires with a nice shiny ring. Update: Brian Windhorst of ESPN's Heat Index is now reporting that Big Z hasn't made up his mind yet and will decide whether to retire or not after this season.