Monday, June 7, 2010

Could Tom Izzo really be coming to Cleveland?

Well, it looks like there is some fire to the smoke signals coming out of Quicken Loans arena after all. The Plain Dealer's Brian Windhorst is now reporting that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is preparing a $6 million a year offer to the Michigan State head coach. While this potential hire would be a splash among many fans and media alike, there is always risk in bringing a college coach.

Recent college hires to the NBA over the last decade-plus have included John Calipari, P.J. Carlisimo, Tim Floyd, Mike Montgomery, and Rick Pitino. None were considered successes. However, in their defense, none took over a team that had a good roster. In fact, all took over rudderless franchises with no hope and had even more bad luck in the lottery after their hires.

In the NBA, more than any other pro sport, coaches need players to win. This isn't the NFL where Bill Parcells can turn chicken shit into chicken salad in a year's time. Put Red Aurbach or John Wooden in charge of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets and they are still picking in the top five of this months draft. That's just how the NBA is. One star can really make all the difference while a great coach can only do so much in the pro game.

So how would Tom Izzo do in Cleveland with LeBron James and a roster that has had back-to-back 60 win seasons? It would be interesting to say the least.

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