Friday, September 16, 2011
Drunk Thoughts: A Theory On Why Zydrunas Ilgauskas Talks Like He Works For Avon Barksdale
This was written at 2:34 AM, after several stiff rum-and-Cherry Coke Zeros.
I don't know if you've ever heard Zydrunas Ilguaskas talk, but he sounds like an Eastern European version of Gary Oldman's pimp character from True Romance ("Is it white boy day?"), and I've always wondered why. Sitting in the shower just now, thinking about Bob Sura (as I often do when sitting in the shower), I think I've finally cracked the code.
Ilgauskas was drafted in 1996 with 20th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Big Z broke his foot before even playing a game for the Cavs that year, and following the first non-playoff season in five years, Cavs GM Wayne Embry decided to shake things up. Gone from that 96-97 team were Bobby Phills, Chris Mills, Terrell Brandon, and Tyrone Hill, and in came Shawn Kemp, Brevin Knight, Derek Anderson, and Cedric Henderson. Sura, Danny Ferry, and fellow 1996 draft pick Vitaly Potapenko were the only main players left after the shake-up, and Ilguaskas was caught in the middle, not really a new guy, but also not one of the mainstays. Ilguaskas needed a friend, and Bobby Sura was there to help.
Now you may be wondering why Ilguaskas would connect with Sura, and that's a good question. Why not Potapenko, or Ferry? Well, here's my hypothesis of how Ilgauskas came to find himself under Sura's wing, and thus found himself learning language from one of the most gangster motherfuckers to ever wear the powder blue and black.
Potapenko seems like he should have been a natural chum for Ilgauskas, seeing as how they both came in the league together and were both European. However, Vitaly was from the Ukraine, which made him a natural enemy of the Lithuanian Z (I think it has something to do with Risk). Besides, Potapenko had been living in Dayton for years while he attended Wright State, which made him a fat slut who makes out with me on the hood of my buddy's truck in the rain on New Year's Eve (if my previous experience with Wright State attendees is to be trusted). There was also always a little bit of jealousy between Potapenko and Ilgauskas, as Z to this day believes he should have been the man the Cavs drafted one pick before Kobe Bryant.
Ferry was wary (and hairy, and merry!) of Euros after his one season in Italy when he wanted to force the Clippers to trade him, so he wouldn't even give Z tips on how to deal with his pre-30s baldness, let alone introduce him to gangsta rap and Above The Rim. This later caused tension when Ferry became the Cavs GM, and is often cited as the beginning of the end of the LeBron era in Cleveland (little known fact: LeBron signed with Miami not because of Bosh and Wade, but because that's where Z wanted to finish his career).
Of the new blood, Brevin Knight was so black and dark that light couldn't escape him, let alone words. Derek Anderson seemed like a promising buddy, but he tore his posterior, anterior, and medial lingual ligaments and was never the same again. Cedric Henderson said something really profound and amazing when he first arrived in Cleveland, but he was never heard from again after two or three more well-below-average sentences. And Shawn Kemp couldn't get a single word out between bites of burgers and giant handfuls of blow.
So that left Sura. And because Sura really did believe he was Drexel from True Romance, Ilgauskas was exposed to the illest, most gangsta forms of speech possible. Being new to the country, Z assumed that's just how white Americans talked, and thus he became the tallest, most European wigger in the history of the world. And that's the story of my most awesome Thursday night ever.