(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?