WATCH: Tom Izzo on taking NBA job; reacts to Frank Martin fallout
The Spartans coach isn't closing the door on looking at the NBA as a possibility, and he didn't agree with Martin's one-game suspension.
Tom Izzo has established himself as one of those guys in college basketball coaching in that, when he says something, a lot of people take notice.
The Michigan State coach went on "Jim Rome on Showtime" this week, in an episode that airs Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET on the network, and said a few standout things.
The first, which you can see in the video above, is on Frank Martin. The South Carolina coach was suspended one game for verbally demeanining a player mid-game in a recent Gamecocks loss. Rome asked if that was "just coaching," or if Martin overstepped his bounds.
Izzo, by the way, is known for his entertaining and extremely fiery moments of frustration with his players as they head to a the occasional timeout huddle.
"I think it was coaching for about 100 years and then the social media came and it's turned into everybody knows what everybody's doing," Izzo said to Rome. "I think it's coaching, I think it's parenting. One of my guys here just gave me an article. Some girl suing somebody in New Jersey, suing her own parents. Because she wants money to go to college, because they kicked her out of the house because she wouldn't do was she was supposed to do. I guess you can call it what you want to call it, but I think right now we're getting a little kind of soft, society-wise, and I think it's spilling over to athletics."
Another topic touched upon was Izzo's strong flirtation with the Cleveland Cavs job, back in 2010. His name has since come up again as a possibility to coach the Detroit Pistons. Would he ignore any further pursuits from pro teams, or would he answer the phone call?
"I always owe it to myself to answer it," Izzo said. "We all think the grass is greener. Players think it is at other schools, coaches think it is at other levels. I think the hardest part about college right now, if you ask me, is we have to wear so many different hats and we're accountable in so many different ways. I don't think the grass is always greener. If it was my time to go I guess I'd go, but right now I've got a lot of work to do and hopefully some championships to win here, because we haven't won one in a while."
Rome noted Izzo did not issue a denial there.
"I never slam the door on anything," Izzo said. "And that will just breed to new things. 'Oh, he wants to leave, he wants to do this.' You know, people have said that for 15 years and I'm still here. Ain't broke, why fix it? I don't plan on going anywhere, and yet I don't know if anybody slammed the door on anything."
College hoops is better because Izzo is involved in it, but I would not be surprised if he decided to finally take on the challenge of the NBA. I think it's possible. But I also believe that he's extremely emotionally attached to Michigan State and cultivating the program he's built. We'll see how MSU finishes out over the next three weeks or so, and then we'll have a good idea of what to expect this offseason. The Spartans graduate two critical seniors in Keith Appling and Adreian Payne, and sophomore shooting guard Gary Harris could very well go pro, as he's projected in the top 20.
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