Izzo Going Pro?

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Sunday, June 6th, 2010

Could Tom Izzo finally be leaving Michigan State for the pros? It sounds like there is a legit possibility this time as The News-Herald reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have made an offer to Tom Izzo to be their head coach next season. There will be many saying that Izzo must be a coach Lebron James would like to play for, but I actually wonder would a coach like Izzo turn James away?

Let’s be real, most college coaches have fallen flat on their faces when switching to the professional ranks. Will Tom Izzo be any different? It’s possible but if he breaks the trend and succeeds he’ll need to change his style, which is what Cavaliers owner, a Michigan State alum, Dan Gilbert loves.

I’ll give Izzo credit he’s a great coach, he’s won four NCAA tournaments at MSU but can he tone down his style? And I mean, can he tone down his in your face style. We’ve seen time and time again these players in the NBA don’t respond to that style, most are prima donnas that are now rich, big babies. They don’t want an in your face coach that demands hustle, defense and for you to play all out.

Most players don’t want that but does a LeBron James want a coach like that? I’d think he does to an extent.

The Cavaliers over the last couple seasons have lacked mental toughness, when things got rough the team disappeared, including LeBron. During the regular season they’d do their thing but come playoff time it was a different story. Izzo will change that, that team will be ready to play every night and they’ll be ready to give LeBron the support he’s needed all along. So with that I’d say LeBron would like a coach like Izzo.

But don’t you think LeBron would want some give and take. Meaning he’ll take you making his team tougher but he’s most likely going to want you to give him some slack. Would Izzo be willing to accept that type of agreement? More importantly would James’ teammates be willing to accept that?

Many will say the Cavaliers put the offer to Izzo out with LeBron’s blessing. I’m not so sure that’s the case as Gilbert has always been in love with his alma maters head coach. Could he have checked with James? Yea, it’s possible but you know what free agency hasn’t even started yet and there is no inked signed.

So even if James gave his blessing on Izzo as head coach he could still sign elsewhere. So the real question is does Izzo feel like leaving the comfort of Michigan State?

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