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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Izzo getting serious about job with Cavs

CLEVELAND (AP) Tom Izzo has flirted with the NBA before. He may finally be ready to commit.

Michigan State's highly respected coach visited the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday to get a firsthand inspection of a franchise undergoing a major makeover as it prepares to try and re-sign LeBron James, the free-agent-of-a-generation.

After flying to Cleveland in one of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's jets, Izzo spent several hours visiting with members of the front office and coaching staff. He toured the team's facilities.

Izzo, who has been courted by pro and college teams in the past, is believed to be mulling a contract worth up to $6 million a season from the Cavs, who fired Mike Brown last month after they lost in the second round of the playoffs to Boston despite having the league's best regular-season record for the second straight year.

It is not known if Izzo gave the Cavs a decision or a timetable for one.

If Izzo and Cleveland do not come to terms, the team could turn its attention to former New Orleans and New Jersey coach Byron Scott, whose resume would make him attractive to Cleveland. Scott won three NBA titles as a player and has experience in coaching such stars as Jason Kidd and Chris Paul.

A phone message to Scott's agent, Brian McInerney, was not immediately returned.

AOL Fanhouse.com reported that Scott had an hourlong interview with new Cleveland general manager Chris Grant and assistant GM Lance Blanks.

"They asked him what his view was on championships, talked about his mentality that you either win or you come home on your shield trying," McInerney said.

Grant said the Cavs have spoken to a "number" of candidates, but did not divulge any names. The team has inquired about Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson.

Izzo recently said he would stay with the Spartans until they won another national title.

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