Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard shot down a report Monday that suggested he had emerged as a 'possible' NBA coaching candidate, saying in a statement posted to Twitter that he is "not exploring, seeking or listening" to NBA coaching opportunities.
"There was a report of my name as a potential candidate for NBA coaching opportunities," he said. "While I am flattered, and know it will more than likely happen again, I am not exploring, seeking or listening.
"I am the head coach at the University of Michigan," he added. "I am blessed to be working at the greatest university in the world. I am blessed to be guiding a group of wonderful young men."
Howard, a Michigan alumnus who was a central part of the Fab Five recruiting class in 1991 that propelled the program to two Final Fours and two NCAA Championship game appearances, took over his alma mater last year after John Beilein left to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was hired away from the NBA ranks after serving for six seasons as an assistant coach on the Miami Heat's staff under Erik Spoelstra.
Leaving Michigan for an NBA gig would be a blow to the program after losing Beilein only a year ago, but he certainly has the NBA experience to warrant strong consideration, and there's a reason he's being mentioned at all. As, Howard interviewed for the Lakers and Cavaliers jobs before signing on with his alma mater last year.
Michigan is replacing Big Ten star Zavier Simpson and big man Jon Teske from last season but returns Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner, two key pieces that could help Howard build off his debut campaign in Ann Arbor. Also in tow as part of an incoming top-15 recruiting class: the son of Juwan Howard, Jace Howard, who is one of four high school recruits who signed with the Wolverines as part of the 2020 recruiting class.