CLEVELAND — One of college basketball's brightest minds, Tom Izzo is wrestling with a career- and life-changing decision.
Michigan State or the Cavaliers? On Campus or in Cleveland?
Big Ten or Big Bucks? LeBron or LeGone?
Izzo still doesn't know.
One day after he and his family visited Cleveland to get a taste of the NBA, Izzo remained undecided about his next move.
He sent a text message Friday to The Associated Press, saying he had not made a decision. Izzo later told the Spartans the same thing and didn't give them a timetable for the decision when they came to the basketball offices to get their Big Ten championship rings sized, according to a person who was there in East Lansing, Mich. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the meeting was supposed to remain confidential.
Izzo is believed to have been offered a five-year, $30 million contract by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, a Michigan State alum who may be looking to make a big splash with his coaching hire to persuade soon-to-be free agent LeBron James to re-sign with Cleveland.
At the same time, Izzo has to be concerned about coaching a team without James, who is expected to listen to offers from several teams when free agency opens July 1.
With James, the Cleveland job is one of the league's best. Without the two-time MVP, the Cavs could be in for some serious rebuilding.
Izzo's courtship with the Cavs has lasted more than one week but seems to be nearing a resolution. It's not known if the Cavs have given Izzo a deadline or if he has told them when to expect an answer.
Messages were left Friday with Gilbert and General Manager Chris Grant, both of whom have declined to elaborate about their pursuit of Izzo, who has rejected offers from pro teams before but seems to be having a tough time turning down this one.
As the Cavaliers wait, the team is continuing its coaching search by doing research and evaluating other candidates. At the top of the team's "B" list is former New Orleans and New Jersey coach Byron Scott, now working as a TV analyst during the NBA Finals.
Jackson expectsto win Game 5
BOSTON — Lakers Coach Phil Jackson does not have "any expectations" for injured center Andrew Bynum. However, there is one thing Jackson is counting on.
"We're going to try and establish the fact that we're going back to L.A. with a 3-2 lead," Jackson said Friday. "We believe we can do it. We felt we let one get away last night."
More like the rougher and tougher Celtics took it.
With Bynum limited to only 12 minutes and on the bench for nearly the entire second half because of his sore right knee, Boston pounded Los Angeles inside in a 96-89 victory that evened the series at two games apiece.
The Celtics had a 54-34 advantage in points in the paint, with Glen Davis and Boston's bigs finding room in the areas that Bynum often controls.
"They miss him," Boston Coach Doc Rivers said. "I mean, he has great size and length, and we attacked the paint yesterday, and Andrew wasn't there. So I mean, obviously when he's not on the floor, there's a big difference."
Neither team practiced Friday, the first of two days off before Game 5 on Sunday night. The break comes at a good time for the Lakers, with Jackson saying he thought Kobe Bryant looked tired late in Thursday's game.
Jackson hadn't spoken to Bynum, who planned to see a doctor and get treatment. He has a torn meniscus and recently had fluid drained from the knee, but the swelling has returned. He said Thursday having it drained again could be another option.
He was optimistic he can play Sunday and Jackson will give him the chance if he's "available and able." However, Bynum won't be used if it would hurt himself or the Lakers.
"If he can't get back in defense transition-wise ... then obviously he's going to hurt the team," Jackson said.