You can thank TMadison’s comment to the previous post for this morning jolt: Yahoo is reporting that Izzo may be under consideration for the open Bulls coaching spot. I don’t want to blow this out of proportion, but since Izzo himself has commented–and doesn’t rule it out–I thought it was worth passing along. Here are his comments:
“I’m not counting out any (job openings) because you can’t,” Izzo said. “College or pro.
“I go back and forth on (coaching in the NBA),” he continued. “I still think it’s the ultimate level. There is something about it. I look at it and say, ‘It’s a real challenge.’ But I love what I do too. I go down and look at what the Pistons (coaches) do in preparation and I think, ‘That’s insane.’
“But I look at what I do in terms of recruiting and I think, ‘That’s insane.’ ”
You can still sense that drive to prove he could succeed at the highest level in those comments. Working in our favor is that Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf may not want a college guy after the failed Tim Floyd experiment. Former Pistons and Pacers coach Rick Carlisle is reportedly the favorite to get the job.
Also, this part of the report just doesn’t ring true to me:
The Bulls are under the impression, sources said, that Izzo is eager to speak with them. Some believe he has grown restless in East Lansing, and it’s believed he would’ve become the Kansas coach had Bill Self taken the Oklahoma State job.
Too early to panic at this point, but let’s not rule it out . . .
Update: Joe Rexrode talked to Izzo this morning:
- Izzo is in Milwaukee to visit Korie Lucious and recruit Jamil Wilson.
- He confirms the Buls haven’t contacted him but that he would listen to them.
- He was apparently bothered by the second quote from the Yahoo article I posted above.
- Rexrode views the odds of Izzo leaving as very small.
My thoughts at this point:
- One hand: Can see Izzo’s competitiveness driving him to the NBA at some point, especially since he has said he doesn’t intend to coach into his 60s.
- Other hand: Just not sure his high-intensity approach would work in the NBA–a star-centered league with a grind-it-out regular season.
- Chances of him going to the NBA seem better than going to another college program. Have to believe he views winning another national title at MSU and firmly establishing the program as an elite one as a bigger challenge than winning at a school like Kansas/IU that already has a nationally-elite reputation.
- Appreciate that Izzo is honest with the media about listening to job offers. Many/most coaches would listen privately but deny it publicly.