For a college coach, flirting with the NBA seems like the natural thing to consider at least once in a career. For coaches like Rick Pitino and John Calipari, the NBA becomes a place to start over from the experience of the college game. The NBA is no place for a tactician, with a list from here to East Lansing and back of names that just didn’t cut it in the professional game. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has at least once flirted with the idea of the NBA, and it looks like a former alumni may take him to the very edge of NBA glory.
The LeBron James saga is a real horse vs. cart saga. Do you get the big name coach to bring in the big name players? Do you get the biggest player in the game to get the coach who seemingly would never leave one of the most solid jobs in the college game? What happens if instead of LeBron James in the starting lineup for the team, it’s Joe Johnson? For the countless number of Spartans fans that occupy this great state, the thought of having their demigod go to a professional team seems like the end of an era for Spartans basketball.
If I’m Tom Izzo, I give the “thanks, but no thanks” to Michigan’s Dan Gilbert and stay at MSU. Izzo is essentially assured a lifetime contract at State with a $3 million/year deal in his hands. Unless he has totally lost his passion on the recruiting trail, or has a great desire to coach an NBA superstar, then he must make the move. I would like to think that an annual salary like that, combined with the adoring fans in East Lansing, would be enough pull to keep the star coach in East Lansing along with the power of basketball in the Great Lakes State.