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Tom Izzo Makes the Right Move…By Not Moving At All

June 15, 2010 Leave a comment

For over a week, Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo had been mulling an offer to coach the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, leaving hoops fans all over the Midwest in a state of limbo. Today, Coach Izzo revealed his decision – he is going to stay at Michigan State. Not even the possibility of coaching the game’s greatest player in LeBron James could convince Izzo to leave East Lansing, a place he has called home for the past 27 years, including the last 15 as Spartans head coach.

Izzo has already reached the elite level of active college coaches, and is a certain Hall-of-Famer. He has enjoyed an incredible amount of success at MSU, including 6 Final Four appearances and the 2000 National Championship. Coach Izzo has built one of the strongest, most consistent programs in all of college basketball, and now he is sticking around to try and maintain Sparty’s place among the upper echelon of college programs.

If he had decided to bolt for the NBA, Izzo would have had to try and buck the trend of successful college coaches flopping in the pros. John Calipari, Mike Montgomery and, most notably, Rick Pitino all failed in their transitions to the NBA. All three have since returned to college hoops with success. The NBA and college games offer two distinctly different styles of play, making the college-to-NBA switch very difficult. We’ll see a college coach succeed in the NBA at some point, however, it doesn’t look like it will be Tom Izzo.

Izzo is making the right call here. He has built a top-notch program at Michigan State and has become one of the top coaches in the sport. By staying put, Izzo is passing up the glitz and glamour of the NBA in favor of the black and blue of the Big Ten. That’s a choice all sports fans can appreciate.

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Categories: College Basketball