"Haven't heard about his plans for next year,
Arvydas, if this was it, thank
Game 7 was a joy to watch."
-- SLAM MAGAZINE, August 2003
07 Sept 2005 - A Sabonis Return?! (Rumor) -- According to sportime.gr,
Sabonis is planning to return to play for Zalgiris in the Lithuanian League
this next season, however he won't participate in the EuroLeague. According to
SporTime sources, Sabonis will travel to Italy and the US to work out and get
in shape again. Discuss here...
Update Day for all you
Everything Sabonis, a new Sabonis site by EPadfield!
She has great conTenT going on
with many a photo i've never seen. Updates abound there. This
lady is the Demented Fan From Kansas. :)
don't forget to stop by my new
dedicated to international basketball players,InterBasket.net
You can talk
there, Yao Ming, Dirk,
Peja, Nash... give it shot, you won't regret it.
September 3, 2003
As promised in the past, I am proud and at the same time, exhausted to announce the new Sabonis forum -
But WAIT, there's more! If you act now, this discussion board will include
forums for all your favorite international basketball players! That's right!
Not only can you talk about Arvydas Sabonis in it's own personal space, but you
can do so with Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Yao Ming, Emanuel Ginobili + many more.
VILNIUS – Legendary basketball player Arvydas Sabonis will hold a controlling
stake in the Kaunas Zalgiris club after buying a 42.5 percent stake from the
chairman of the club.
Mindaugas Plukas, chairman of the Sabonis Zalgiris Basketball Center, announced
on the club’s Web site that he intended to sell his stake to Sabonis.
“I want to inform the basketball community that I decided to sell my shares in
Sabonis Zalgiris Basketball Center to Sabonis,” he said.
“The decision was determined by particular circumstances,” he explained, adding
that Zalgiris couldn’t compete with other professional basketball teams whose
budgets exceeded Zalgiris’ by ten times.
Plukas admitted that the club has had budget difficulties in recent years.
Recently it was announced that Sabonis, 38, will not return to Portland next
year – which would have meant $7 million if he had decided to stay on. He played
in the NBA for 7 years.
Although no confirmation has been made, there are rumors that Sabonis will play
next year for Zagiris, where he started his career. Lithuania’s best basketball
player has stated in the past that he would like to end his career in the same
place he began it.
According to Plukas, Sabonis’ return to Kaunas would be a monument event not
only for Lithuanian, but for European basketball as well.
ARVYDAS SABONIS INTERVIEW: 08/21/2003 **
for the tip and the translation!
" ...So today's 'Respublika' issue has all the hottest news about Sabas and 'Zalgiris'.
'Lietuvos Rytas', on the other hand, could only get crumbles, and their today's
article is only speaking about some hazy 'rumours' ... The two papers really
don't like each other, BTW :). There was a real war between them during the
latest finals of LKL (Lithuanian Basketball League) between 'Zalgiris' and 'Lietuvos
Could you once and for all deny all the speculations and say
straightly whether you'll the next season for "Zalgiris? Arvydas Sabonis:
I know that I will certainly play. It there isn't any injury during
the preparation for the season.
Word has it that you've started to train ... AS:
We played with friends for a couple of days, I made some running.
I need to get the rhythm again, so that I can rejoin the team for
training later on. I've been doing nothing for three months. It's not
easy getting into the rhythm again, when you're of such an age.
Mindaugas Plukas passes his stake in Zalgiris to you. Does he sell
them? Or gives them as a present? AS:
Most of the shares are being passed over for a symbolic fee. Maybe,
not all. We'll handle all the paperwork in a couple of days.
R: So now the biggest part of the club's
problems will lie on your
First of all, we need to clear up the financial situation, to
normalise the internal workings of the club. There are debts dragging
for several years now. We'll go and make contacts, search for
possibilities, negotiate -- will try to bring "Zalgiris" to the shape
that it has to be in. Of course, one cannot do it in a year. We'll try
to start the rise to the top again.
What is your vision of "Zalgiris"?
AS: I have travelled much and seen
many basketball clubs. "Zalgiris" is
one of the oldest not only in Lithuania, but in Europe as well. The
team does not have its basis. There are initial works begun - a
school, administration with professional staff. But one needs a basis,
a reverse. All of this has be be created. And this won't happen
quickly. Nothing happens quickly. We'll rise gradually.
Is the club seriously indebted?
I don't know the figures, but there are debts. They are left over
from the time when "Zalgiris" won the Euroleague. So this trail is
following the club ...
When did you finally make up your mind not to play for the National
Team? During the summer, you were not saying that you won't play.
I didn't say anything to anybody. Journalists wrote loads of
various stuff. I stopped playing for the NT in after 1999. Now it is
the year 2003. I'm 38 year old. Soon will be turning 39. How can I
help the NT? I can play one or two matches. But I can't make 7 matches
in 10 days.
would have agreed to play for the NT?
You'd have joined in as well? AS:
If the old lady had the balls ... Then she'd be an old gentleman. Of
course, it's a pity that everything is like it is. But there are
reasons for that. Ilgauskas himself is like on a razor blade - no one
knows what can happen to him during a match. But if he played for the
NT, this would be a complete set.
R: Including you? AS:
I don't consider myself a part of the set. There are players beside
me in Lithuania who can sit on the bench or go and play for five
minutes. I'm such a player as well. Anyway - there are young powerful
guys out there with lots health and energy. They can run and do things
when it's needed and the way it's needed.
How would you explain to the people who cannot understand such a
thing - Sabonis forwent 7 million USD offered by "Trail Blazers", and
instead goes to play for "Zalgiris" almost for free?
AS: For free? Well, I hope to get some sort
But it's not comparable to 7 million ... AS:
I had kind of ended my career and said it's enough. Then I played
for one more year. The next year could have been in Portland again.
Anyway, everything converges into one thing - one has to make up one's
mind. While I'm still riding the wave, while someone says hello to me,
recognises me, I have to use it and do something for "Zalgiris". When
no one will say hello and will forget - then it's harder to do
something for the team. Come on, "Zalgiris" has such a history, and
now finds itself in such a position - it's embarassing. It makes you
want to change something.
The spectators are hoping - Arvydas will join in, and it will rain
I will help with whatever I can. In the
previous season, there was
already a decent team. I don't imagine myself playing for 30 minutes.
Or maybe I can do that. All will depend on the injuries as well.
You mean after Steps
Well, I don't know where you guys are at, but the next rung for me is Step 5, "Acceptance" which i'll have to hold off on.
For me, full closure will only come when Big Red officially retires and unfortunately, thats not within my personal realm of control.
Knowing Sabonis, there's great probability that he'll wait until October 20th, sign the papers, and
leave a voicemail on Herb Rudoy's cell saying something like "I'm retired from the NBA,
I talkto you in 6 months..."
I'm sure the news
eventually make its way to me right as the 2003-04 NBA season starts...
...until then, i'll be hanging out somewhere in between "Anger" and "Despair"
August 12, 2003 9:00am PST-
Major News Outlets Say Sabonis Reportedly Done with NBA...
Just some links confirming Sabas' alleged departure...
Unlike the "scare" we had about 2-3 months ago, many of the major news outlets here are picking up on this one. This one looks like the real deal.
It may be very well that Arvydas Sabonis is finally calling it quits with the NBA. Prepare yourselves, I have a feeling this one is it.
Check our forum for all he latest and thoughts from Sabonis fans around the globe.
If this is it Big Red, its been a huge pleasure watching you play.
August 11, 2003 6:30PM PST-
Is Arvydas Sabonis Done?
Local Radio Station announces that
Arvydas Sabonis' tenure as
a Portland TrailBlazer will come to an end... ?!
According to a local Portland radio station, 910 "The Fan", Arvydas
Sabonis will not return to the Portland Trailblazers this year.
Further cementing his NBA retirement,
Sabas' agent apparently
confirmed that he will not fly to Portland for a physical either.
You know it must be a great pass when it
wasn't even converted for a basket.
Take Action: Bring back Sabonis--at least one more year! Please!!!
Thursday June 05, 2003
We can't expect to sit
around waiting for the decision to be made without our input, can we? Heck
no! Janis a.k.a. Crazy Fan From Idaho, has a great idea- a grassroots
internet email assault! Lets help in the big guy's decision making process
letting him know that the Sabas Network is in favor of ONE MORE YEAR WITH THE
So read the message
below and do your part, this is your chance to get your voice heard!
To: All Arvydas Sabonis Fans [emails witheld] From: Crazy Fan From Idaho Subject: Time for action, Sabonis fans!!!!!........ Date: June 4, 2003 17:56PM
Time for an email blitz to all the interested parties involved, so that we can
get Sabonis back. Who knows if it will do any good, but it isn't going to
decrease his chances of coming back.
Here is a list of addresses to send your
back Sabonis--at least one more year!!! Please!!!!!!!!"
BLAZERS: Here's the
address for fan mail -
You can send one to Sabonis urging him to return, to Cheeks urging him to do
everything possible to get Sabonis to return, to Whitsitt, to PA, and to anyone
else you can think of.
here to email Sabonis through Blazer's fanmail.
Here's the one for general feedback......"If you have a compliment, a concern,
question or just a suggestion." -
here for general feedback, this is definitely a concern!
ZALGIRIS: (They don't really need him this season, do they????)
here to email Zalgiris (the team in which Sabas
is reportedly leaving for)
INTERPERFORMANCES:This is the agency that handles Sabonis. He has several agents, but Herb Rudoy
and Arturo Ortega seem to be the main ones.
Herb Rudoy--his American agent:
here to email
Arturo Ortega--his Spanish agent:
here to email
Arvydas Sabonis isn't ruling out a return to the Trail Blazers next season, his Chicago-based agent, Herb Rudoy, said Tuesday.
The Euroleague's official Web site reported last week that Sabonis announced he will play for Zalgiris, the team in Kaunas, Lithuania, that he co-owns next season. But Rudoy said the center has not made up his mind, that the message got misinterpreted in the translation.
Rudoy had not spoken to Sabonis as of Tuesday afternoon, but a colleague in Spain had.
"All I know is (Sabonis) told my Spanish partner (Arturo Ortega) that he did not say he's retiring (from the NBA)," Rudoy said. "All he said is at some point he'd like to play in Kaunas..."
THURSDAY MAY 29 2003 9:30AM PST
Arvydas Sabonis: " ...enough of Americas for me, it's time to
help "Zalgiris" next season... "
Preliminary reports from overseas say that Aryvdas Sabonis was in Kaunas, Lithuania Tuesday morning
and held a news conference at 11am Lithuania time. At this meeting with the Kaunas City Council, Sabas reportedly
promised Zalgiris (the team in which he is part owner) that he will join them for this coming season.
As more news and condolences pours in from Lithuanians, Italians, and other Sabonis fans around the
world, it looks as if Arvydas Sabonis, in all probablility, is done with his NBA career. I say
this because he has a long-standing promise to his countrymen that he will suit up one last time
for Zalgiris before retiring.
And Sabas is, if nothing else, a man of his word
With that, this isn't looking good for American fans of Arvydas Sabonis.
Please check in with our forum to keep
with the absolute latest on this. I will do my best to keep you updated throughout the day.
THURSDAY MAY 29 2003 11:15am PST
Here is the transcript, translated from Lithuanian, of what Sabonis had to say during the
aformentioned news conference. (Thanks much to Marius Nevedomskas at our forum)
-- start of transcript --
Arvydas Sabonis: "Most honoured members of the Council,
Today I'd like to address you like old friends - simply "Dear Kaunas
pals!" - because I've got a reason for that.
I came back to my city after some longer break, and everything seems
so nice and lovely to me here. Though I know that not everyone is having
it easy here these days ...
Me, as always - I'd like to talk about the thing that I've devoted my
life to, which is nearest to my heart, which I know best. I guess
there's no need to explain what I have in mind.
This year I came back to Kaunas in an especially good mood: the
wheather is gorgeous, the gardens are all in bloom, and fish will
hopefully bite well. But most importantly - things have started to turn
better for "Zalgiris". You see the everyday matters of our basketball
day in day out and know better than me. I just spot bigger chances
from afar. And I'm especially glad that changes did come this year,
and almost all of them are good.
It is a pity I couldn't shake hands to all the champions of the
Lithuanian Basketball League - many of them are away from Kaunas right
now. But the most important thing is that "Zalgiris" not only survived
this season which has been very tough for a number of reasons - the
team also managed to settle in a rather assured way the bills with
Vilnius for former grievances. The "Zalgiris", as they played in
Lithuanian Basketball League and Euroleague after the New Year, could
have done much not only in Lithuania but also in Europe. It's a pity,
of course, that all things hit the right track somewhat too late, but
good foundation has been laid for the future, so there'll be victories
in Europe. And maybe - quite soon.
I think I'll have a chance to meet all the guys from "Zalgiris" later
and thank them. Well today, I'd like to take this chance and
sincerely thank you, my dear Kaunas pals - members of the Council and
all the citizens of our city - for taking the decision to help our
basketballers, for sharing their grievances and joys.
When I remember my times, I can only envy the present "Zalgiris".
Today it is really the team of all our city - KAUNAS. And the
victories of "Zalgiris" - presently and in the future - are victories
of all Kaunas people, and not just one club!
Your decision to help "Zalgiris" and to take a direct part in life of
the club was of extreme importance not only because of objective
financial strains which arose not because of the club. This decision
has become also a very serious guarantee of the club's future. I
learnt from the Euroleague boss Jordi Bertomeu himself that he was
greatly impressed by the pledge of Kaunas City and Kaunas District
to support "Zalgiris" for several years and by the serious
considerations concerning the construction of a new
international-level sporting arena over here. These commitments of
yours greatly contributed to the decision of Euroleague to include
"Zalgiris" into the list of 16 most important European clubs. All
these clubs will have long-term guarantees to participate in
Euroleague. I am sure that your generous decision to help the team,
which represents our city, will be remembered with gratefulness for
long years by all the fans of basketball.
I thank you for all you've done, and from my part would like to prompt
you not only to continue this co-operation, but also to search for
other possible ways to support "Zalgiris" and the youth basketball
school which prepares the next generation of basketballers: maybe to
encourage some sponsors, maybe to expedite the construction of
To wind up, I'd like to say a couple of words personally from me. I
don't like being in debt for long time. After what you've done and -
I'm sure - will do for the team, I feel that it's time that I
contributed to the revival of "Zalgiris" in Europe. So ... I thought
for some time and I reckoned - enough of Americas for me, it's time to
help "Zalgiris" next season. A decent team has been built, if it's
strengthened somewhat, we could make quite a nice showing in
Euroleague. Together, we can really do much.
Thank you all again!"
-- end transcript --
Again, I will try and keep you informed as much as I can. It seems
as if the U.S. media hasn't quite caught on as of yet, but as they do,
i'll post as much as I can.
Send me your thoughts (email@example.com), what do you think about all this?
THURSDAY MAY 29 2003 08:20pm PST
A couple of US news outlets (both from the Portland area) have picked up the Sabonis news, though there is no new
information to be had. Here they are if you want to check them anyways- KATU.com
and KFXO in Oregon.
Click here for news from what may have been Arvydas Sabonis' last NBA season.