x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Izzo says no to the Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers were still searching for a new coach after Tom Izzo, their top target, turned them down on Tuesday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were still searching for a new coach after Tom Izzo, their top target, turned them down on Tuesday. Izzo, the highly respected coach at Michigan State University, said at a news conference he had decided to stay at the university. "I'm pleased to say I am here for life," Izzo said. He had been Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert's top choice to replace Mike Brown, who was fired last month after Cleveland had been knocked out of the play-offs by the Boston Celtics.

Byron Scott, the former New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets coach, could be the next potential candidate for the role now that Izzo has passed up on the opportunity. But he supposedly will not interview formally for the job until the Los Angeles Lakers and Phil Jackson, their coach, decide whether Jackson returns, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on its website. Compounding the situation is LeBron James's pending decision on whether to re-sign with the Cavaliers or explore the numerous free-agency options available to him.

Izzo alluded to James, the league MVP, in his announcement of his plans to stay with Michigan. "Just as I decided to stay home, I hope a 6ft 8ins, 270-pound forward in Cleveland decides to stay home," the coach said. Meanwhile, Steve Kerr, the Phoenix Suns general manager will leave the team when his contract expires at the end of the month, he said. He plans to pursue a career in broadcasting where he previously worked as a television game analyst, the former NBA player said on the team's website.

"After much thought and deliberation, I have decided this is the right time for me to move on both professionally and personally," Kerr said. Kerr, 44, had been the Suns' president and general manager for the past three years. The team averaged nearly 52 wins during his tenure and made the Western Conference finals. * Agencies