The January trade for center Timofey Mozgov helped ignite the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs 28-year old center has been a big reason why they have made it all the way to the Finals. Mozgov has served as a rim protector as well as a threat down in the paint on offense.
Here are some things you may not know about Timofey Mozgov:
1. Timofey Mozgov Makes Funny, Local Commercials
Apparently, Mozgov really likes a local Cleveland restaurant called The Brew Garden. As you can tell by the above commercial, he is not a natural actor but that doesn’t mean the video is not hilarious. “Get that weak stuff out of here,” Mozgov is heard saying while wearing his jersey backwards at the beginning of the commercial.
2. Mozgov Helped Lebron to Stop Being Depressed
It’s a funny statement but according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst Lebron was in a funk when the Cavs traded for Mozgov. He was in the midst of taking time off when the trade was completed. When Lebron met Timofey he perked up after he noticed his size. For the record, Mozgov is 7’1″.
You may remember that Lebron played with another international big man during his first stint with the Cavs. Lithuanian Zydrunas Ilgauskas played with James in Cleveland during his early years. James often speaks highly of “Big Z” and, according to the Bleacher Report, even attended his jersey retirement ceremony last season while Lebron was still playing with the Heat. The duo led the Cavs to the Finals in 2007 before coming up short to the San Antonio Spurs. Cavs fans hope Mozgov and James can do even better by beating the Golden State Warriors to win the franchise’s first championship.
3. Cavs Coach David Blatt Coached Mozgov in Russia
Cavs coach David Blatt and Timofey Mozgov’s history goes back a lot further than just playing for the Cavaliers. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Blatt first encountered Mozgov as a 17-year-old during a workout. The coach noted he was unpolished but had rare size. Long after the workout, Blatt watched Mozgov from afar as he played professionally in Russia.
In 2006, Blatt was named the Russian national team coach. The two were reunited in 2009 when Mozgov joined the Russian national team and began to come onto the scene as an NBA international prospect. They won a bronze medal together in the 2012 Olympics. Now, the coach and player hope to add an NBA championship to their trophy case.
4. Timofey Mozgov and Wife, Alla Mozgov, Got Married in the Same Las Vegas Chapel as Michael Jordan
According to Yahoo Sports, Timofey and Alla Mozgov got married during the 2011 All-Star weekend. Apparently, they got married in Las Vegas at the same chapel where celebrities such as Michael Jordan, Britney Spears and Frank Sinatra have said their vows.
So we jumped into the limo and went to that exact chapel where Michael Jordan, Bruce Willis, Frank Sinatra, Demi Moore, and Brittney Spears said their vows…The ceremony has reminded us a lot of…going to a McDonald’s drive-thru!” Mozgov wrote in a blog after the wedding
Sorry, ladies. This hopeless romantic is off the market. Nothing wins a woman’s heart like being reminded of a McDonald’s drive-thru. The couple have one son, Alexey. Mozgov frequently post photos of his family on his Instagram account as you can see in the picture above.
5. The Blake Griffin Dunk Still Happened
When you are a legit 7-footer you have a target on your back in the NBA. Meaning, everyone wants to dunk on you. Certainly Mozgov has energized the Cleveland Cavs but we would be remiss to forget that time Blake Griffin absolutely posterized. This is the night that Mozgov went from a noun to a verb. “Mozgoved” became a phrase used to describe what happens when a player gets dunked on.
Mozgov described the situation to Grantland:
It was my rookie year…I always try to protect the rim. They can dunk. I’ve got to go, ’cause it’s my job. You can see I was almost up there. It’s just an unbelievable play by Blake. But I’m late, so there’s nothing I can change. And also, I learned for the next time, when you get in a situation like that, you’ve got to get a hard foul.”
It’s okay, Timofey. You are in the Finals now.