With Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Rick Adelman announcing his retirement after 23 seasons on Monday, the Tom Izzo-to-the-NBA talk has started up again.
Timberwolves coaching job is officially now open. Two names that will be in the mix, per sources, are Tom Izzo and Fred Hoiberg.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 21, 2014
Four years ago, Michigan State’s coach said that he would be the Spartans’ coach “for life” after turning down a chance to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, with both the Detroit and Minnesota jobs open, it would appear that statement will be tested. According to the AP, Izzo and Timberwolves President Flip Saunders have been friends for years.
Izzo, 59, has been Michigan State’s coach since 1995 and led the Spartans to six Final Fours and one national championship in 2000. Last season, he made $3.9 million as Michigan State’s coach. Responding to the Pistons rumors in March during the NCAA tournament, Izzo said East Lansing “is a pretty good place for me right now. We’re in a pretty good spot.” Then again, about two weeks earlier he told Jim Rome that he will never “slam the door on anything.”
So, let’s pretend we’re Tom Izzo and go over the supposed pros and, um, pros.
WHY TOM IZZO SHOULD STAY AT MICHIGAN STATE
— Job security for life.
— Revered in East Lansing.
— One of the highest-paid coaches in the country.
— Recruits see Michigan State as top destination.
— Season ends in early April, at the latest.
WHY TOM IZZO SHOULD TAKE AN NBA JOB
— New challenge after years as college coach.
— Chance to coach the best basketball players in the world.
— Bump in salary (Adelman made $5 million last season).
— No more recruiting.
— Wouldn’t have to relocate all that much if it’s the Pistons job.