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Blue Cheese: A melancholy tribute to ex-Knick Mindaugas Kuzminskas

A fond farewell to our very own Cheese

NBA: Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Friends, I have a confession. Through this season of unexpected wonders, I’ve been unable to fully participate in the joy. There has been something missing. With growing dread and sadness I’ve watched Mindaugas Kuzminskas go from street clothes to uniform to street clothes again, with no explanation or interviews. I’ve seen his contagious smile dim, and his shoulders sag slightly as he leaves the court. Half-hearted high fives as he walks into the tunnel. The little dark cloud was hard to ignore. The way ahead was clear, but it hurt too much to acknowledge. Cheese had no future here. And then yesterday, as sure as God made tiny green apples, the Knicks waived our Lithuanian prankster, our Baltic sunshine, our Eastern European rainbow.

This one hurts, and the organization went out of its way to make it known that this was not done lightly:

Kuz made his own announcements on Twitter, and with the saddest Instagram picture you will ever see:


Some goodbyes from the team and celebrity row:

(Assuming Ansel Elgort is too choked up to make a statement.)

It’s not all sadness, though. Although they may have waived him for lack of a decent trade, this also allows him to sign with any team that has cap space (as opposed to getting shipped to Orlando for a draft pick and some gum wrappers). Kuz should actually get playing time on a team that wants him. This is a good thing! There’s already a bunch of talk about where he could land:

Despite this, most of the online chatter seems to involve the Lakers (who would have to do some waiving of their own):

So our Cheese looks like he should land on his feet. A better tomorrow is likely. Go Kuz go!

Mindaugas would not want us to be sad, so let’s take this time to revisit the special je ne sais quoi that made Cheese the merriest of the braliukas:

There’s the savage Kyle O’Quinn burns that first put Kuz on the map:

To his willingness to make fun of anyone:

Even Derrick is smiling after the WIN

A post shared by Mindaugas Kuzminskas (@mkuzminskas) on

To his extravagantly beautiful ballerina wife,

A post shared by Egle Andr (@egleandr) on

And wedding.

And honeymoon.

A post shared by Egle Andr (@egleandr) on

Kuz has shown us that life can be happy, and for this (and oh yeah, his effort on the court) we will always be grateful.

So Mindaugas, if you ever read this, this is what I hope you see: every one of the 350+ replies to your goodbye Twitter post has been kind and supportive. You have truly created a miracle: you have made the people of the internet nice.

You deserve it, Cheese. Vaya con dios. We will miss you.