Tag: Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo says despite rumors he is staying at Michigan State


Tom Izzo to the NBA rumors will not die.

The legendary Michigan State coach’s name keeps coming up in coaching search talks, especially in Michigan where the Pistons happen to be looking for a coach.

But he did his best to shoot down the rumors again speaking with ESPN, which you would imagine a guy trying to get high school stars to come to play for him would like to do.

“First of all, I’m going to be at Michigan State,” Izzo said Wednesday on ESPNU’s College Basketball podcast… “If somebody made me an offer to be the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers that was so good that it would impress everybody, does that mean I would never say never?” Izzo said. “I’m not doing that anymore. I’ve seen too many people get stung that way.

“Put it this way: I’ve got a big-time recruit coming in an hour and if I was leaving I wouldn’t be recruiting.”

Izzo says he is laughing at the idea he would leave, but the people recruiting against him are trying to use that idea.

Izzo’s name comes up in a lot of coach speculation. It is known Pistons owner Tom Gores is a big Izzo fan and would love to hire him away. However, Gores should work on getting a general manager in place first, then let the GM work out who should be the coach.

Dan Gilbert thinks Tom Izzo would have been perfect for LeBron


Thumbnail image for dgilbert.jpgThe job falls to Erik Spoelstra, but the question still hangs over the situation: Who is the best coach for LeBron James? Who can connect with him, who can get more out of his game?

Dan Gilbert was convinced that man was Tom Izzo, something he said in his Sports Illustrated interview (from which we discussed some of his other comments).

“You asked about LeBron and what it would take for him to get to that [championship] level — I think it has to come from the inside,” Gilbert said. “[Izzo] is one of these guys who is extremely passionate and emotional, and I think that’s what LeBron needs. Mike Brown [who was recently fired as coach], as great as he was, he wasn’t going to have that one-on-one relationship like Phil [Jackson] had with Jordan. [Izzo] had that right stuff without having the NBA experience, and so we probably would have wanted to bring him some extremely experienced assistants.

“But then LeBron wouldn’t even talk to [Izzo]. Wouldn’t even talk to him. Those are the things we let him get away with.”

Izzo is a very well respected and loved coach by all Michigan State alums, like Gilbert. He is a fantastic, legendary college coach. So pardon my skepticism that he was going to reach LeBron.

To really get players to buy in you have to get their respect. Nobody could get Kobe and Shaq to play nice together until Phil Jackson and him Michael Jordan rings and pull walked in the room. You have to have that kind of presence, through precedence or earned in the gym with the team.

Pat Riley has that. He transfers it to Spoelstra (at least for now). Izzo is a college coach who has gotten good talent to play like great talent. But can he reach great talent? That is a very different question all together.

Gilbert, however, was in a position where he needed to take some risks, he needed to make big moves. Izzo would have been that.

Tom Izzo doesn't like the media coverage? Then make a decision.

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Thumbnail image for izzo.jpgAmong all the fun comments from Tom Izzo on why he decided to stay at Michigan State, and how happy all the administrators at Michigan State are that Izzo did not run off with an NBA mistress, came this interesting thread.

Izzo didn’t like the media coverage.

He said the coverage of this was hard on his family. Check out this quote from Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon:

“Unfortunately during this period of time, rumors became stories and Tweets became facts. It was quite amusing if it didn’t happen to you.”

Let’s be blunt — Izzo and pretty much everyone involved not named LeBron handled this poorly.

There was a complete misunderstanding by seemingly everyone involved in the courtship of how today’s media is going to work, the immediacy of it in a world of twitter, and how people react to news when they are emotionally invested in something. And you want people to be emotionally invested in Michigan State Basketball. You want them to be passionate. This is part of that package.

True, this is a far more invasive media and one that will nationally put out news instantly with few filters. Go ahead and have a debate about whether that is good or not. That’s a fine academic discussion. You don’t have to like it — you can long for the days when Babe Ruth can be a total bastard and the media will cover it all up and paint him as a fun-loving, good hearted guy. Wish for it all you want.

That is not reality anymore. And you have to deal with reality.

That might involve being a little more subtle in your attempts to get information on LeBron rather than calling everybody you know in the game. That might involve the university releasing a statement and speaking some on the issue. It might involve giving the press something to fill the vacuum besides the seemingly countless people in and around Michigan State Basketball who were willing to talk on this issue off the record. Yes, there were a lot of people calling and prying, but there were also a lot of people talking.

Other NBA teams and colleges have handled coaching searches more professionally and quietly. Maybe give them a call and ask for advice. It can be done. There are always now going to be some leaks and rumors, but you can choose to handle this well, or not.

You did not. You drew the process out over a week in the public eye. Blame the media all you want, but you have to deal with this reality.

Or, you know, just make a quicker decision.

Ding-dong, the Izzo saga is dead: Tom will stay at MSU

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for CAVALIERS_LOGO.pngIt’s done. After days of deliberation, more deliberation, and even more very public deliberation, Tom Izzo has decided to stay at Michigan State University and decline a rather substantial contract offered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Good riddance. At this point, the pros and cons have been written, weighed, and analyzed: challenge vs. legacy, money vs. comfort, the known vs. the unknown. The best part about all of this is not that Izzo chose to stay at MSU (though I do think that’s a wise decision, given the rather spectacular failures of many a college coach who tries to jump up to coach in the big leagues), but that a choice has finally been made.

It’s almost embarrassing just how drawn-out and public Izzo’s internal debates became, and the sheer number of planned trips and press conferences alone made this much more of a production than it had to be. Good on Izzo for thinking through a decision before making it, but we all could have done without the endless hoopla and contradicting reports concerning his decision.