Tom Izzo to jump ship from College Basketball to coach Lebron in Cleveland…Is it worth it? An analysis of the coaching dynamics and what it might mean for Lebron James’ game

Posted: June 7, 2010 in NCAA Basketball

…Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, a very good coach and a very good man reportedly visited Cleveland on Thursday and met with Cavalier officials. Now this is all part of the domino effect of Lebron James…I don’t know what Tom Izzo brings to the table in regards to Lebron James, I don’t…but according to Michigan State sources, Izzo had scheduled the trip, sat down with his players, told his players “this is what I’m going to do…” and in my opinion..you HAVE to take this job!

You go from commuter planes, and dinner’s at Arbey’s and high school gyms, and AAU basketball to private charters, lobster dinners, Ritz-Carlton hotels, and Lebron…now Mr. Izzo I will warn you it’s still Cleveland, but I think you have to take this job. Tom Izzo is a smart man and smart people don’t pass up this oppourtunity…remember, when Coach K at Duke turned down the Lakers, they were in transition…it wasn’t a guaranteed home-run! And even then, Coach K with the best job in college basketball (arguably) listened!

I think what is happened is that college basketball is becoming a tough tough tough place for elite coaches and elite programs. Not Gonzaga or Butler, because you’re not getting NBA players from there. But for the Carolina’s , UCLA, Michigan State, Syracuse, UConn and Kentucky…your basically recruiting NBA kids and every single one of them on your program…basically every single program is a diving board. In Gonzaga and Rutgers, that’s not the case…but in Syracuse, UConn, Michigan State and UCLA…it’s a diving board into the NBA pool. And I’ve said this before…college basketball to some degree has become a big apartment complex…you rent not own, nobody really wants to be there, there’s no sense of neighbourhood, its every man for themselves…that’s the proposition that it is.

We’ve all lived in that apartment complex briefly, everyone eventually wants to get into the house…and the house is the NBA. You stay there for years…the apartment complex, you see people, you say Hi but you know it’s not long-term and I think Tom Izzo, 5 years ago, passes this up…but now you get Lebron for 10 years, so he’s gonna double his contract, much more stability, a higher quality of life…what’s their not to like?

And I will say this….Coach K I think has about the best job in college basketball, I think Coach K would consider Lebron. If you said today “Lebron James is staying in Cleveland…Coach K will you come?” I think even HE would consider it! Because what I think has happened is that college basketball has become a real beating at these elite schools, it’s really tough…it’s a revolving door! And it’s a really tough proposition for these guys…so don’t blame Tom Izzo…sometimes oppourtunities come, and you know loyalty…the 70’s called it “they want their word back!”…nobody is really loyal. That company, that laid you off…nobody is really loyal…Chris Rock says it best ” you’re as loyal as …a man is as loyal as his options”

So I hear all this “ohh Tom Izzo, he has been great for the school, he’s upgraded the basketball program (which was good to begin with actually)” and now you just get oppourtunities that anybody in their right mind would take. So I hope that people don’t bang on Tom Izzo…totally loyal guy…and you might say “but he said…that he would..” pfft, people say a lot, but things change! I didn’t think I’d ever have a crack at playing provincial soccer again, this changed!…loyalty often in these days means STAGNATE!! Un-willing to evolve, scared, fearful, stationary

So Tom, you gotta take this gig…I mean seriously you gotta take it. Now I don’t know what it means for Lebron James, I don’t know if Lebron looks at it and says “eek, college coach?” But I will say this…Lebron loves college basketball, knows who Tom Izzo is, and quite frankly it does feel like Izzo is a massive upgrade from Mike Brown, so I don’t think its necessarily a negative….I think that Coach K and Izzo are the two coaches that have the PERSONALITY to make it to the NBA.

Don’t forget that, Coach K…dealing with superstars on the Olympic team created an environment where superstars are un-selfish and played hard for no money! I mean, look at what Coach K did in the Olympics!! Heck, you’re not even playing for money and that quite frankly drives the bus in the NBA, so let’s not kill Izzo on this…you gotta evolve, I think he’s a nice fit…I don’t think it hurts in the pursuit of Lebron.

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