Thursday, June 10, 2010

Say It Isn't So Izzo: Why Tom Izzo Going To The Cavs Is Wrong

For the next few paragraphs I am going to pretend Tom Izzo cares about what I have to say. As I write this article Tom is getting on a plane headed for Cleveland to discuss taking the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching position.
While it is understandable that any college coach would have the desire to make the jump to the NBA, this decision and the timing of this decision could not be more wrong for Tom.
For starters, Izzo has no assurances that LeBron James will be in a Cavaliers uniform next season. Even if James is a Cavalier next season, the organization still needs to add the proper pieces to complete the championship puzzle.
Another question mark is James’ loyalty and apparent control of the organization (not just the team). It is clear Cavs owner Dan Gilbert puts much stock in what LeBron thinks and wants. Why else would he fire head coach Mike Brown and allow General Manager Danny Ferry to leave after those two men engineered the most successful five year run in the organization’s history?
What makes Tom Izzo think LeBron would not hang him out to dry after two or three years without a championship? Izzo has yet to coach a game in the NBA. Mike Brown had five years of experience. In those five years, Brown never had a losing record and set the Cavs team record with 42 playoff wins. The deck is obviously stacked against Izzo.
With LeBron James any team will be a contender. Being a contender and a winner are two different things. Cleveland was a contender this year but they will not be winning any championships.
LeBron needs the proper pieces around him. Izzo has no guarantees those pieces will come to fruition. Izzo does, however, have an obvious chance to return to his third consecutive final four and compete for his second national championship. His kids at Michigan State deserve that chance, and they deserve it with Izzo as their coach.
After doing so, he can throw his hat back into the NBA ring. The NBA will always be there. Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Draymond Green and the rest of that talented roster will not. These players have been to back-to-back final fours and are yet to win a championship. Izzo should stay and finish what he started with these kids.

(Originally published on Bleacher Report by Jerry Murphy)


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