LeBron coming back to Cleveland? Heat OK trip for Big Z ceremony

LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas were teammates for eight seasons.

Nicole Sweet

Conflicting reports have circulated regarding LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ ceremony and the Miami Heat’s thoughts on their star’s attendance.

The latest, right from the mouth of Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, is that James is planning to head to Cleveland to watch the jersey retirement of his former teammate and the Heat are fine with it.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com writes that Spoelstra said the Heat have been aware of this for months and that members of the team’s staff, including former Cleveland assistant Ron Rothstein, will also make the trip.

"I think it’s an incredible night; it was very touching that Big Z would reach out to Ronnie," Spoesltra said. "We have the ultimate respect for Big Z and we view him as a Miami Heat guy even though he’s as much of a Cleveland Cavalier as Udonis Haslem is to us."

A report from Forbes Wednesday speculated that Heat officials were "unhappy" with the idea of James being in attendance.

Windhorst writes that Ilgauskas invited James last year and the Cavs picked a date that would allow him to get to Cleveland.

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The two were teammates for the last eight years of Ilgauskas’ career, seven in Cleveland and the final one in Miami.

The Heat played in Miami Thursday night. Their next game is Sunday at 1 p.m. in Chicago, where James plans to head on a chartered plane following the ceremony.