Should Michigan State’s Tom Izzo take an NBA coaching job?

(Associated Press)

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.

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.


— 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.


— 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.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Next Story
Cindy Boren · April 21, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.