The Cleveland Cavaliers thought that bringing in a big-name coach this past summer would give them the best chance of keeping LeBron James. They somewhat failed on the first account and definitively failed on the second — but not for lack of trying.
The Cavaliers publicly pursued Tom Izzo before settling on Byron Scott, but they also pursued Larry Bird.
The Celtics legend and Pacers executive took the phone call, but turned down the offer, citing that he would likely never again coach for health and family reasons, ESPN.com reports.
Bird won Coach of the Year in 1998 and took the Pacers to the NBA Finals in 2000, but has since been content in his off-court role.
For the Cavaliers, this can simply be added to the list of “what ifs” concerning James’ decision.