Tom Izzo Visits With Cavaliers
Izzo has been in contact with Cavs' officials for almost a week, and the visit seems part of his effort to understand the team's long-term plans, especially if they do not re-sign LeBron James.
There is no indication that Izzo will take the job Thursday, and the feeling at Michigan State has been mixed about whether Izzo would stay or leave. Spartans AD Mike Hollis has said the school will move quickly to replace Izzo if he leaves. FanHouse's Sam Amick reported Thursday that Byron Scott had a one-hour phone interview with the Cavaliers earlier in the day. This could be a fallback option, or it could be the Cavs merely interviewing two viable candidates.
One thing is certain: Izzo's hiring would seriously alter the salary structure of NBA coaches. The Cavs reportedly have offered Izzo anywhere from $5 to $6 million per year on a five-year contract.
Phil Jackson has won 10 titles (soon to be 11?) and is paid $12 million. Larry Brown, who has won both an NBA and NCAA title, earns $7 million. Mike D'Antoni of the Knicks, Don Nelson of Golden State and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich (four titles) are at $6 million; Doc Rivers, who won a title two years ago in Boston, earns $5.5 million.
If the reported figures are correct, Izzo would jump right into the Rivers-Popovich pay scale before ever coaching or winning a game in the NBA.