Sam: Ah, Tom Izzo. He's the Bad Internet Story of the Day. That was
Wednesday's Detroit newspaper report from a school trustee Izzo had
rejected the Bulls' offer to be head coach before they offered the job
to Thibodeau. So, I guess do we find out after all these years is Izzo
is just another one of those college coaches trying to leverage himself
into more money and a better deal? No, he had zero chance of ever being
considered to coach the Bulls because he is a college coach who doesn't
know much about the NBA and the Bulls hardly need a coach with training
wheels again. I will say of the college coaches I thought he was maybe
the best with a chance to make it in the NBA. When Vinny was fired and
I did a list of potential candidates the only college coach I mentioned
was Izzo. Yet, I gave him no chance and he really had none. Yes, the
Bulls had some talks with him. I believe it could have been more a
favor as GM Gar Forman is a college guy and still close with Tim Floyd.
But isn't it interesting the Michigan State AD says they'll replace
Izzo the moment he leaves. If the Bulls did make an offer, how come
there was no big stories of him telling the AD and talking to the team
like there have been with the Cavs apparently making him an offer. Why
the Cavs would hire some who never coached in the NBA is a mystery and
suggests maybe they do think they have lost LeBron. Izzo is a competent
college coach, no question. He's won a national championship and
generally does well in the tournament. But guys who have coached in
college a long time have no idea who plays in the NBA, how different
the game is and how much control you don't have. They don't have a
chance. NBA guys have little regard for them once they see that. It's
why none ever succeed even though they're smart guys, and there have
been more successful ones than Izzo who have tried. Izzo's in a weak
Big 10 conference and not exactly knocking off anyone's socks annually
with what seems like a slower defensive game. Derrick Rose and Joakim
Noah would love that. In the last five years, his teams have finished
fourth or worse three times. In the last 20 games last season, they
scored more than 80 points once. I don't know if Izzo has any intention
of going to the Cavs as you read that he won't unless he gets a
commitment from LeBron, who is not exactly in that business or mindset
these days. So would the Cavs wait until July 8? I can see them doing
so. Look, if LeBron leaves they're done, anyway. Might as well get a
name for the sidelines. But why would Michigan State put up with that?
Hey, I can understand a $6 million annual salary as an appeal. But I've
read Izzo makes $3 million for basically working a half year. The NBA
is hard work and a long season. And you go to the Cavs without LeBron
and miss the playoffs and lose your reputation right away. Plus, who
wants to be the coach after LeBron? But he's not asking me and has done
pretty well all these years without my advice. I don't believe
Thibodeau is the next Red Auerbach or Phil Jackson, but he knows the
NBA inside out, the players and the tendencies of teams studied over
decades. Players want a chance to get better. Not some sidelines
cheerleader. I think the Bulls are quite happy with Thibodeau, who,
unlike Izzo, hasn't had to pay to go to NBA playoff games.
Wow, I never thought of it from that perspective, but Sam Smith's really on to something there. Nice brief summary of why the college coach typically fails in the NBA as well as what Tom Izzo is up against.
Personally, I like Izzo, I wouldn't want him to coach the Bulls because I've always feared the lack of success college coaches have, but I thought if we got a college coach I would take Izzo over someone like John Calipari (unless of course you buy into the Calipari/LeBron package).
Nice job by Sam on breaking this down though.
Some other great stuff in the Latest ask Sam, but a bunch more love for Joe Johnson. Please, someone tell me what the appeal of Joe Johnson here is. Sam says he'd hate to see getting Joe Johnson looked at as a failure, but Sam and I will have to disagree on that one.