Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Talking Izzo On An Ace-Free Tuesday

(Tom Izzo doing what he does best: wearing terrible shirts and walking Mexican women on the beach)

I know. You were not expecting me today. But here I am anyway and for good reason. This past weekend, our very own Mr. Ace got married to the now (officially) Mrs. Ace. So let's all take a moment to congratulate him. I offered to give him the week off but the man is fucking dedicated to this site and not his marriage, and he will be here on Friday instead.

On to today's topic. Reports suggest that my Cavaliers have offered their head coaching job to Tom Izzo. Whoa. That's a pretty heavy and layered story right there. Now, the easy reaction here would be to just assume he stays because he owns Lansing and by all accounts loves it up there. But is it that easy? Dan Gilbert isn't going to make it that easy on him. This could be the opportunity for a lifetime for him...but it would require a pretty bold leap of faith.

First things first, Izzo is 55 years old (I didn't realize that he was that old). He doesn't have that many years left in him. Maybe 10? The way that he screams his ass off, I'd say that in ten years, doctors will need to remove his blown out vocal cords. It could be time for one last big, new challenge for him.

Let's face it, Michigan State can't compete with the Cavs when it comes to money. We all know about the stupid money that the Big Ten schools get from their network, but it's not NBA money. Sparty pays Lupe Izzo's beard 3 million a year. Dan Gilbert has loved Izzo forever and you would think would have no problem giving him 5-6 million per season for 5 years. And that might be a low projection. Gilbert is used to getting what he wants. Hell, he got casinos in Ohio when no one else could. He's not used to hearing no (which is probably why he believes that 23 is staying put).

Sure, Izzo said that he would not even be interested in moving on until he wins another national title at MSU. While that is a noble idea, I've got years and years of evidence that a coach's word means shit. If he truly loves coaching at MSU and wants to go the route of Jud Heatchcote and Dean Smith and Coach Ratface, then he will. And that's fine. But if there is any doubt or curiousity, Gilbert will get him.

Now as a Cavs fan, I initially thought that offering a college coach what will likely be crazy money was a stupid idea. I ran through my head all of the past failures of college coaches jumping to the pros. Tarkanian. Lon Kruger. Calipari. Pitino. Tim Floyd. What do all of these guys have in common though? They are all better recruiters than they are coaches. They are better at selling themselves which is great for college but doesn't mean shit in the pros.

I see Izzo like Larry Brown. Two guys that don't sugarcoat shit. They know x's and o's. Their expertise is between the lines on the floor (and in managing Kahoots). So I do think that Izzo would/will be more successful than the prior failures from the college ranks. He's just wired differently. And his teams always are better at the end of the season then they were at any other time of the season.

So will Tom Izzo be the next coach of the Cavaliers? Hoooooooo, I don't think so. There is just too much uncertainty around the franchise right now. But it's an interesting discussion nonetheless. We had a nice little fight about the Sparty basketball program a few months ago in which most of you thought I was crazy for criticizing. He's a great coach but I still feel that his program could use some juice. Or maybe he forgets about the juice and goes for the money this summer.

I'm telling you guys, pay attention to the Cavs over the next two months. They are going to be wheeling and dealing. You watch. But anyway, in conclusion, am I crazy for thinking that Izzo would be a good NBA coach?


Grumpy said...


MuDawgfan said...

Good to see Coach Izzo has a strong appreciation for jeans that are too tight in the crotch and middle aged latin ass.

Both of those need to make a comeback.

Drew said...

I'm with you....I think he'd be a good NBA coach. Everyone always says that no coach in college is better for setting up a plan for an opponent...which is why his teams excel so much in the tourney. That would make me think he could be a real bad ass in the playoffs in the NBA.

Did Ace take his woman to West Virginia to visit the childhood home of Rich Rodriguez for his honeymoon?

Mr. Ace said...

Drew, you know I go for the young girls...I took her to a McDonald's with a play place.

This was the mini-wedding that I had to do so we could have a ceremony in the church...and get on Mrs. Ace's insurance two months early. Suck on that, church.

Do you realize how terrible Sparty would be without Izzo. He made that place. Nobody else is going to want to go there and follow in his footsteps.

I think Izzo would be more effective than most college coaches as well. I don't know how attractive he would be to Lebron, though. But anything is better than Mike Brown.

GMoney said...

Way to put one over on God!

I don't think that Sparty would suffer too bad if and when he ever leaves. I've got to think that they would want to bring Brian Gregory back and he's done pretty well for himself at Dayton.

Drew said...

If I was Michigan's AD and Izzo left for Cleveland....I would immediately fire Belein. Right now Michigan is rolling with a guy with a quirky offense, because they can't recruit the studs in Michigan....and that isn't going to change until Izzo is gone. So, if he bolted...I'd fire the boring white dude and bring in someone who immediately can battle with the new MSU coach.

Gregory would definitely seem to be the top choice. I always thought Crean kept staying at Marquette because he wanted to take over for Izzo when he left. It would be pretty funny if he just jumped ship at IU in a "This place is just way too fucked up to make work" type of move and went to MSU. That would never happen...but, I wish it would due to my passionate hatred for IU basketball.

Anonymous said...

Drew- I agree. I would also fire RRod as a package deal. Speaking of Rrod, he has 5 recruits now for next years class. None of them had offers to OSU. Way to battle Eastern Michigan for those studs!

I wonder how much $$ it will take to land Izzo. Would they double his current salary? More? Its really hard to say how he would transition to the NBA. The biggest problem is that most players are uncoachable and don't give a F what the coach tells them. Izzo gets in his players face at MSU... That might earn an elbow to the jaw in the NBA.


Drew said...

Dut...we have no evidence that it gets you an elbow...we do have evidence it gets you choked out though.

GMoney said...

Rumors are that Gilbert is coming at him with 6 mill per season.

By the way, if anyone is watching ESPN this morning, my old man makes an appearance during a Bryce Harper highlight package. There is a shot of him throwing batting practice to the #1 pick last summer. I'm the son of a celebrity. I feel like Charlie Sheen.

Mr. Ace said...

There is no chance in hell that Michigan will ever react to a Sparty move. Again, Beilein will be just fine, especially is Izzo goes.

I think Izzo is the most underrated coach possibly ever. If he leaves do you really think Sparty can run the Big Ten like they have? He got more out of his players than any coach in the country. No coach they bring in will do what he did.

Dut, I'm not going to discuss recruiting practices because... I would rather just save you the embarrassment. But what you said means nothing.

G$, I hope your dad threw him a couple brushbacks. He looked like he was crowding the plate.

GMoney said...

I'm glad that we are all sort of in agreement that Izzo makes the players and not that the players made Izzo. He can coach in any environment.

Anonymous said...

I think that is his wife. And her name is Lupe.

"What? You're blaming Lupe?