Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ilgauskas to the Wizards ~ Seriously!?! For the record ~ I got here FIRST

Trade rumors are trade rumors.  Usually rumors are based on gossip and are generally not to be trusted.  Most people are taught not to listen to rumors because rumors are generally not true and don't come to fruition.  Like an ostrich with her head buried in the sand, I never paid attention to trade rumors that involved my ex.  Why should I?  He holds the record for most games played for the Cavs franchise.  He's played his entire career with ONE organization, since the day he was drafted in 1996.  I'm not alone when I associate him with one city, one franchise, and one team. His expiring contract (he's slated to make $11.5 million this season) made him attractive to other organizations and there's always the option of a buyout, especially since he's been sent to a non-contender (i.e. the Wizards).

The Wizards.  He got traded to the Wizards.  Of all the franchises in the league, he got put in my backyard again.  Now that I think about it, I was born here in the USA, so I actually arrived in this country FIRST.  I was in Ohio FIRST.  I was born there and earned my BS and MBA there.  When things ended between us, I left Ohio.  That's right.  I left the state.  I didn't carve out a niche in a Cleveland suburb or move closer to my parents in Southern Ohio ~ I left the state.  Now "MY HOME" is in the DC/VA/MD area.  I arrived here FIRST.  How do I feel about the fact that my ex just got dealt to a non-contending, issue-riddled, underachieving team in my BACKYARD?  I am sickened and nervous for both of us. 

For him: At this point in his career, to be dealt to Washington, has to be a huge blow.  He's just been dealt away from a Championship contender to a team that's being dismantled (i.e. read "BLOWN UP") and where the only real star is a man serving a suspension for toting a gun to the arena.  Awesome....  For Zydrunas there's still time to be traded again (i.e. until the trade deadline  of 3:01PM EST tomorrow) and there's always hope that his contract will be bought out and he can return to Cleveland in 30 days (i.e. collective bargaining agreement loophole).  Incidentally he still lives in the same house we once shared (i.e. but now he lives there with his wife and kids).  Yep, I was there FIRST also.  But I digress...  After all he has given to the Cavs' franchise to have him be dealt away is shocking.  He believed in that franchise, pre-Lebron, and to take him out of the mix when everyone in that city can "taste" a championship is just plain cruel. I recognize it's a money game at this point.  But damn...  I liken it to Ewing being traded away from the Knicks.  I couldn't stomach seeing him in a Magic uniform.  Ewing is a Knick.  Ilgauskas is a Cav.  It's not rocket science, but obviously it's a business.

For me: I don't mind being close to situations that are stressful, but there's close and TOO CLOSE.  I liked the fact that I could go see the Cavs whenever I wanted and go relatively unnoticed.  I liked the fact that I could choose "a la carte" what games interested me and hop on a plane and LEAVE it all behind.  I liked being able to turn on the TV and see him play on my own terms and not have to risk potentially running into him on the STREET.  Even in Cleveland I'd steer clear of certain sections of the arena and keep a low profile.  I'd avoid certain bars and restaurants.  Like I said, there's close and then there's TOO CLOSE.

You know how when couples break up and people have to pick a side and everyone fights for territory? Well most of the Cavs organization took his side.  That's fine.  They paid his salary and he worked for them.  I get it.  I started over ~ moved to Atlanta and ultimately to the DC/VA/MD area.  I carved out my own territory, where I know when he's in town, courtesy of the NBA schedule.  One or 2 times a year he's here.  Back in the days when the Cavs would play the Wizards in the playoffs, maybe at most, he'd be here an additional 3 times a year.  I'm not sure how I feel about him as a "resident".

Someone actually said something to me one day about me needing to get over it.  Yeah, that person got an earful after that.  Get over it?!?!  What would you do if you were on a date and you went bowling, only to see your ex shooting free throws every time you rolled a ball down the lane?  Ever been to a bar and have someone keep yapping about the Cavs, how much they love Lebron, and then hear his assessment of your ex's defensive skills?  Ever watch ESPN and see your ex as a puppet in a Nike commercial several times a day?  Ever see your name in a newspaper, written in a different language, and ask someone who speaks Lithuanian to translate it? 

Get over yourself. Relationships begin and end, but basketball is FOREVER. I am from Ohio. I am a Cavs fan. Nobody is chasing anyone. It's all for love of the game. If I wanted him I would've signed the papers and gotten married. I never did. I left town. Think whatever you want ~ but there's no disputing those FACTS, I appreciate his level of talent, hard work, and dedication to the sport. His trade to the Wizards is not going to make me a Wizards fan. A Wizards hat will never grace the top of my head. I will still be a Cavs fan. I will still make trips to Cleveland.

No, my life isn't hard.  But seriously...  Why the Wizards?  I don't want to be walking into CVS or a restaurant downtown and see him sitting at a table.  Trust me ~ I see and run into EVERYONE.  It'd only be a matter of time before he and I crossed paths.  I expect and mentally prepare to be haunted by ghosts in Cleveland, but I don't want to be haunted by ghosts here.  In Cleveland, I'm guarded and on defense but I don't have the energy to be on defense and be guarded here.

I don't care that I sound like a 16 year old ~  I GOT HERE FIRST.

I'll see for myself if this is for real or a bad dream...  I'll be at the Verizon Center on Friday for the Nuggets v Wizards game...  I wanted to see if the Nuggets are for real this year and have a chance to scout them before the playoffs.  Now I have even more interest in the game.

Dear Washington Wizards ~ Please buyout Zydrunas' contract before March 1st, so he can return to the Cavs. It's the humane and right thing to do.


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