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Izzo is believed to be on the short list of candidates preferred by Gilbert, a Michigan State graduate, who didn't ask Hollis for permission to talk to Izzo.
"That's not normal protocol when you're talking about pro teams going after college coaches," Hollis said. "Dan is a great Spartan and I have a lot of respect for him with what he's done in the NBA and with his business."
Gilbert is the founder of Michigan-based Quicken Loans Inc. His team is in the midst of a summer overhaul. In addition to James' free agency and the coaching search, general manager Danny Ferry resigned last week.
During a conference call after Ferry's split, Gilbert didn't say if the Cavs had interviewed any coaching candidates. The team has inquired about former New Orleans coach Byron Scott and Milwaukee assistant Kelvin Sampson.
Shaquille O'Neal, who played for the Cavs last season, posted on Twitter: "I think brian shaw should get interviewed for that cleveland cavaliers job, he's really good."
Assistant GM Chris Grant has taken over for Ferry, who guided the Cavs through their most successful run. The Cavs made it past the first round in each of Ferry's five seasons, but didn't advance to the finals the past two years despite successful regular seasons. Gilbert and Grant have a news conference scheduled for Tuesday at the team's training facility.
On Friday, Gilbert said he was "moving very quickly" in his search to replace Brown, who won 143 games the past two seasons. Gilbert said it would be ideal to have a coach in place by July 1, but wasn't sure that would happen.
Gilbert has long been impressed with Izzo. At a late-season game in Cleveland, months before his team's playoff flop, Gilbert said Izzo was "one of the nicest guys I've met" and praised his defensive philosophy.
Hollis said he talked to Izzo on Monday and several times over the weekend, insisting that wasn't unusual because they have been friends for more than two decades. Izzo was the best man at Hollis' wedding and the two were roommates when starting careers at Michigan State.
"I know Dan and Tom talk and that Dan has reached out to talk to Tom in the past," Hollis said. "The only other thing I can tell you at this point is there is a strong interest from the Cleveland Cavaliers in Tom Izzo."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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