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Monday, June 7, 2010

Lebron Watch: Tom Izzo Offered Cavs Job???



All the different articles from todays news about the cavs courting Tom Izzo



IZZO Next for the CAVS?
Tom Izzo insisted recently that he has no interest in coaching in the NBA until he wins at least one more NCAA title at Michigan State.
But that stance might not stop the Cleveland Cavaliers from trying to hire Izzo as their next coach.
The Cavaliers -- fresh off dismissing coach Mike Brown and parting ways with general manager Danny Ferry -- have formally extended an offer to Izzo to replace Brown, sources confirmed to ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard on Monday.
The Cavaliers did not confirm or deny the report, declining comment Sunday night. The News-Herald in Northern Ohio first reported the Cavs' offer to Izzo.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis denied to the The Associated Press that the Cavs have offered Izzo a contract but confirmed the team is interested in the Spartans' coach.
"There is not a contract offer on the table," Hollis said in a telephone interview with the AP. "Last week, there was talk that Chicago and New Jersey were interested. If I was anywhere but at Michigan State, I would be interested in Tom, too, because he's the best coach in college basketball."
A source told ESPN.com's Andy Katz that Izzo told Michigan State that he hasn't been offered a contract and a lot of the reports have been blown out of proportion.
This is hardly the first time Izzo has been linked to the Cleveland job. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is a Michigan State graduate and a longtime Izzo admirer who, according to NBA coaching sources, also investigated the feasibility of hiring Izzo in the summer of 2005, when the Cavs also flirted with Larry Brown before hiring Mike Brown.
Yet it figures to take more than a shared allegiance to a university or even Gilbert's reputation as one of the NBA's biggest spenders to tempt Izzo, given that the Cavaliers have no assurances that they can re-sign LeBron James this summer.
Izzo tried to quell the inevitable speculation about joining the Cavs in a recent interview with ESPN.com, saying: "I don't have an interest [in the NBA] until I win another championship."
He did appear to offer some hope of a future jump to the pros when he told Katz that "I'll never say never." Yet Izzo quickly added: "My name always comes up [for NBA jobs], but that doesn't mean they've talked to you."
Speaking specifically about the Cavaliers' interest in 2005, Izzo insisted: "There was so much made that Dan Gilbert is from Michigan, but that was more manufactured because I didn't meet with them."
Attempts to reach Izzo on Sunday night were unsuccessful.
ESPN.com reported last week that Gilbert has not abandoned hope of hiring a big-name coach despite the fact that Jeff Van Gundy has informed interested teams such as the New Jersey Nets and Cleveland that he intends to stay in television as an ESPN/ABC analyst for at least one more season before returning to coaching.
Charlotte's Larry Brown and Kentucky coach John Calipari -- who is friendly with James and sat near Cleveland's bench during its Game 5 home loss to Boston in the second round of the NBA playoffs -- are two more marquee names that have been mentioned as potential Cavs candidates. ESPN's Byron Scott and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson, meanwhile, are already under consideration in Cleveland, sources say.
Izzo hasn't seriously considered a move to the NBA since the summer of 2000, when the Atlanta Hawks pursued him hard after Michigan State won its only title in the Izzo era. The Spartans, though, have made six trips to the Final Four in the past 12 seasons, establishing Izzo as an East Lansing legend.
Izzo is under contract at Michigan State through 2016 and earns an estimated $3 million annually. There's little doubt Gilbert could double that salary, but the Cavs will remain a franchise in flux until they have a commitment from James that he's re-signing. Interest in Izzo could thus prove to be futile, similar to Cleveland's reported hopes of pursuing Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson or Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.
Gilbert said last week after Ferry's departure that he hopes to have a new coach in place by the start of free agency July 1, but he also acknowledged that filling the job so quickly might not be possible.

Jeter, Jay-Z not recruiting James to N.Y.
NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks might want the Yankees to help recruiting LeBron James, but Derek Jeter doesn't see the point.
"It wouldn't make sense," the Yankees captain told ESPNNewYork.com.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh wants as many New Yorkers as possible to help convince James to choose Madison Square Garden when NBA free agency opens July 1. James is a Yankees fan, and has a special pair of Yankee-styled Nikes.
"If there's Yankees that want to help us, we would involve them," Walsh told the New York Post on Sunday.
James' good friend Jay-Z echoed Jeter's sentiment on recruitment.
"That's his decision," the hip-hop mogul and part owner of the New Jersey Nets said in a Rolling Stone interview.
"We're friends -- we've still gotta hang out! I don't want to convince somebody to do something, then have to see him and say, 'Uh, yeah, we're 4-30 ... sorry.'"
CC Sabathia is also friends with James, but admitted he didn't know what he'd say to persuade James to pick New York.
"You don't have to sell winning in New York," Jeter said.
When it was pointed out to Jeter that since he has won in New York, James could find out about how special it is, Jeter still didn't budge.
Jeter hypothetically compared it to if he were going to be recruited by one of the Los Angeles teams and Magic Johnson called him.
"If I were going to another baseball team, how would a basketball player help?" Jeter said. "I don't play basketball. I have nothing to do with that."
Unaware of Walsh's comments at the time he spoke about James, Jeter said he doubted the Knicks would ask him.
"I don't see how it would work," he said. "It is completely different."
Jeter, who was a standout basketball player in high school, knows James a little.
"He's a nice guy," Jeter said. "He's a big Yankee fan so I've gotten to meet him. I probably think of him as a player like everyone thinks of him as a player -- he can do anything."



MSU AD says Cavs have not offered Izzo a contract
Tom Izzo has another suitor.


Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis told The Associated Press on Monday the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in Izzo, but have not yet given him the chance to replace fired coach Mike Brown.
"There is not a contract offer on the table," Hollis said in a telephone interview with the AP. "Last week, there was talk that Chicago and New Jersey were interested. If I was anywhere but at Michigan State, I would be interested in Tom, too, because he's the best coach in college basketball."
The News-Herald of Willoughby, Ohio, reported Sunday the Cavs have made Izzo an offer to be their coach. The story cited an unidentified league source.
Cavs owner Dan Gilbert reiterated in an e-mail to the AP the team's policy not to comment on "any rumor about potential new hires, trades, free agent signing, etc."
A message was left with Izzo.
Izzo has been regularly mentioned as a candidate for NBA and other college jobs since Michigan State won a national championship in 2000.
He led the Spartans to the Final Four this year for the sixth time in 12 seasons, a feat just two other coaches have accomplished: UCLA's John Wooden and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski.
Izzo makes more than $3 million a season and is under contract through 2016.
He has been Michigan State's head coach since the 1995-96 season, when he was promoted to replace retiring mentor Jud Heathcote.
Izzo is believed to be on the short list of coaching candidates preferred by Gilbert, a Michigan State graduate.
The Cavs are in the midst of an unprecedented summer makeover. With superstar LeBron James set to become a free agent July 1, the team is looking for a new coach and is undergoing a transition of power following general manager Danny Ferry's resignation last week.
Assistant GM Chris Grant has taken over for Ferry, who guided the Cavs through their most successful run in team history. The Cavs made it past the first round in each of Ferry's five seasons, but didn't advance to the finals the past two years despite successful regular seasons.
On Friday, Gilbert said he was "moving very quickly" in his search to replace Brown, who won 143 games the past two seasons. Gilbert said it would be ideal to have a coach in place by July 1, but wasn't sure that would happen.
Gilbert has long been impressed with Izzo. Before a late-season game in Cleveland, months before his team's playoff flop, Gilbert praised Izzo for his defensive-minded philosophy and "for being one of the nicest guys I've met."
Gilbert and Grant have a news conference scheduled for Tuesday at the team's training facility.
Complicating Cleveland's search for a coach is the uncertainty around James, who is expected to listen to offers from several teams when free agency opens. Last week, James said in an interview that Cleveland has "an edge" in re-signing him.

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