The Orlando Magic have been looking for their next head coach — after letting go of Frank Vogel right after season ended — while Mike Budenholzer (Bucks), David Fizdale (Knicks), Lloyd Pierce (Hawks), James Borrego (Hornets), and Igor Kokoskov (Suns) all got jobs (plus J.B. Bickerstaff had the interim title taken away in Memphis).
Not much news had leaked out of Orlando through all of that process, outside of interest in University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson and an interview this week with former Charlotte coach Steve Clifford.
Then came a report from Michael Scotto of The Athletic that the Magic had interest in Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
It didn’t take long for people close to Izzo to shoot that down.
A few points of clarification here. First, plenty of NBA front office executives have thought Izzo would make a great NBA coach and have reached out with feelers over the years. I have no doubt the Magic were interested, and may well have reached out (directly or through back channels) to gauge interest. That’s what smart organizations do.
At this point in his career, at age 63, it’s hard to imagine Izzo making the leap to the NBA — and if he does it will be for a Godfather offer (in both money and roster). With all due respect to Aaron Gordon, that’s not Orlando. Never say never, but like Mike Krzyzewski and others who could have made the leap to the NBA, at this point Izzo seems a college lifer. He’s in one of the best jobs in the land, a place where he is revered and respected, and he’s not likely to change that up now.
You can’t really blame him. It’s hard to leave a good job — just ask Jay Wright. But with Izzo, NBA teams will still ask occasionally, just to make sure.