Tom Izzo will stay at Michigan State. The school has called an 8:30 p.m. press conference for this evening to announce his decision.
The Cavaliers' coaching search trudges on after Izzo passed on the chance to earn about $30 million over the next five years -- nearly double what he is making as coach of the Spartans. Izzo tried for days to reach LeBron James to gauge James' intentions of re-signing with the Cavaliers this summer. When he failed to get a call back, it made his choice a little easier.
"Just as I decided to stay home, I hope a 6-8, 270-pound forward in Cleveland decides to stay home," Izzo said in a release, referring to James.
Gilbert had hoped to have a coach in place before free agency began on July 1, but that doesn't seem likely now. Most of the top available candidates with NBA experience will want to know, as Izzo did, James' intentions before accepting the job.
Izzo spent more than eight hours in Cleveland last Thursday to tour the team's facilities, then returned to his Michigan home to mull the decision. Izzo was close to making the leap on Sunday and Monday, according to a source close to the coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity, but his views on the organization changed in the last 24 hours when no one could reach James.
Izzo called the opportunity he just passed on "once-in-a-lifetime."
"There was a lot of information to gather and consider," he said, "and some of it wasn't easily obtainable."
James is adamant he won't be drawn into any coaching searches or discussions with the Cavaliers, making the jobs of Gilbert and General Manager Chris Grant that much more difficult.
Byron Scott, who interviewed with the Cavs by phone last week, would seem to be the most appealing candidate, but a source close to him said he is enjoying his time away from the court and prefers to see what happens in Los Angeles with Phil Jackson and the Lakers. Avery Johnson and Tom Thibodeau, two other top candidates when the process started, have already been snapped up by other teams.