Bruce Pearl said he hasn't decided if he will take the head-coaching offer from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.
But, the former Tennessee men's basketball coach concedes, the offer sure looks good.
"This is a major, major organization — it's not the CBA we're talking about,'' said Pearl, who interviewed with Legends team owner and Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson on Thursday. "It's a tremendous opportunity. Donnie Nelson is one of the brightest minds in basketball.
"I'm in the decision-making process.''
According to an Associated Press report, Nelson labeled the offer as the "most aggressive package in D-League history.''
Reports have the offer as high as $500,00 per season, according to the AP, a figure Pearl would neither confirm nor deny.
Pearl was fired after six seasons as Tennessee's head coach on March 21 in the wake of an NCAA investigation into UT's men's athletic program.
Pearl, who led UT to an unprecedented six consecutive NCAA tournaments, was found to have provided false and misleading information when questioned about a photo of him and then-recruit Aaron Craft at his home during an unofficial visit in 2008.
Pearl, however, has maintained his affection for Tennessee and said he had hoped to continue his career with the Vols, even after knowledge of the unethical conduct violation first surfaced at a press conference on Sept. 10, 2010.
"I prayed I would be at Tennessee the rest of my life,'' Pearl said. "But that wasn't God's plan. There are family considerations with this opportunity. We will talk about it, and we will pray about it.''
Pearl said he and Nelson didn't discuss a timetable for when he would need to make a decision.
Pearl, along with UT, is awaiting the sanctions from the NCAA committee on infractions, which are expected to arrive later this month. There's a good chance Pearl will be served with a "show-cause'' penalty, which would severely hamper his opportunity to return to college coaching until the term of the penalty was served in its entirety.
Still, Pearl said, he needs more time to consider the appreciable offer.
"No decision has been made,'' Pearl said. "But I can tell you I'm leaving here very impressed.''
Pearl took note of the irony that he could possibly be working alongside another women's basketball hall of famer should he take the Texas Legends job.
"I had the privilege of working with Pat Summitt at Tennessee, and here, Nancy Lieberman coached this team last year before being promoted to the front office,'' Pearl said. "When you think of women's basketball, Pat Summitt and Nancy Lieberman are at the top of the list.''
The NBA Development League starts play in November. The package Pearl has been offered would allow Pearl to pursue other coaching opportunities.
"Is it the right time? Does it fit?'' Pearl said. "I'm coming back to Knoxville to think about it.''