Izzo quiet while mulling Cavs offer
The Tom Izzo saga staggers on.
And you thought the LeBron James rumors were getting tiresome.
Izzo's week-plus courtship by the Cleveland Cavaliers continued Saturday with no resolution — and no timetable for a decision from Michigan State's coach, who is considering a five-year, $30 million contract offer from the team to leave college for the NBA.
Either he hasn't decided where he'll coach next season or he's keeping it a secret.
There was no word from the 55-year-old Izzo, who spent nearly nine hours meeting with Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert and other team executives on Thursday. After returning to Michigan from the visit with his family, Izzo said his dance with the Cavs "won't go on forever."
It can't, but the lack of a conclusion could point to the difficulty in the decision for Izzo to possibly leave East Lansing, where he has built one of college basketball's sturdiest programs.
Attempts to reach Izzo were unsuccessful on Saturday, and there were no announcements by the school's athletic department. The Cavaliers were equally quiet as a spokesman said the team would have no update on anything regarding their coaching search.
Izzo could be taking the weekend to consult close friends and family before announcing his decision.
The uncertainty has added a layer of drama to the most important summer in Cleveland's history. Owner Dan Gilbert wants to find a replacement for fired coach Mike Brown before the start of free agency on July 1, when the club will attempt to re-sign James.
But that could be impossible with James offering no clues about his next move. Izzo is also at James' mercy.
Without any assurances from the two-time MVP, Izzo may be reluctant to finally make the leap to the pros after several close calls in the past. A demanding, defensive-minded coach in college, Izzo could make a successful transition to the pro game but it would be much tougher if James is elsewhere.
It's not known if Izzo has tried to contact James. Last week, Gilbert said James would be consulted during Cleveland's coaching search.
While Izzo mulls his future, the Cavs have continued to research and identify potential coaching candidates.
General manager Chris Grant spoke with former New Jersey and New Orleans coach Byron Scott over the phone on Thursday. Scott fits the profile of the type of coach Gilbert wants, but the three-time NBA champion guard for the Lakers could be waiting to see what else opens up.
There is a possibility Phil Jackson could retire in Los Angeles after this season, and Scott would likely be interested in that job.
As for any interest in Cleveland, Scott's longtime agent, Brian McInerney, deferred all inquiries to the Cavaliers.