Speculation is running rampant that Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo is in town today to discuss Dan Gilbert’s plans going forward, with or without LeBron.
People seem to be very conflicted about this. On the one hand, college coaches historically don’t have a lot of success in the NBA. John Calipari and Rick Pitino are two of the biggest examples.
However, these coaches usually get some of the worst jobs the NBA has to offer. They will get big money from the bottom feeders, and they simply do not have the personnel to succeed.
The Cavs job is different, in a number of ways. First, if LeBron James decides to stay in Cleveland, Izzo will be successful (to a degree). He will go to the playoffs year in and year out, and post 50-60 win seasons annually.
But that isn’t good enough.
Dan Gilbert’s definition of success is an NBA championship. LeBron James’ definition of success is an NBA championship. Can Tom Izzo deliver that?
Sure, he’s been to six of the last 12 Final Fours, and he is highly regarded as one of, if not the best coach in the NCAA. Can that translate to the NBA?
He’ll be moving from literally handpicking the players that will be taking the floor for him, (supposedly) not making a dime, and worshiping the ground he walks on to guys in their mid-twenties who make more money than him that have their own agendas.
Will the players respond to him? Will they respect his success at the college level?
Those are the big questions about this hire. I’ve been flip flopping with myself about this over the past week or so, and I’m leaning towards Byron Scott at this point. There have been reports that LeBron has been asking Chris Paul about him, and it’s not bad having a guy on the bench with three rings.
I don’t even know what to think anymore.