NBA teams in the market for a new head coach during the 2014 offseason may be forced to avoid another juggernaut within the college ranks.
In an interview on the Tim Brando Show, Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo quelled any rumors that he could be seeking a job away from the collegiate level.
.@TimBrando tells Tom Izzo that he doesn't want the college game to lose him. Izzo's response: "I don't think you have to worry about that"— Patrick Netherton (@PTNetherton) April 7, 2014
The Detroit Pistons were reportedly showing interest in MSU's head coach, according to USA Today's Sam Amick, but that pursuit may be a lost cause, given his recent comments. Izzo considered taking a head-coaching position with the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2010, but the Cavs eventually signed Byron Scott instead.
Izzo’s Spartans made an Elite 8 run in the NCAA tournament before falling, 60-54, to Shabazz Napier and the white hot Connecticut Huskies. His squad fared far better when compared to Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils, who fell in the first round against Mercer.
The 67-year-old coaching legend also shot down any proposed interest in the NBA, per ESPN’s Arash Markazi via Twitter:
When I asked him if he'd be interested in leaving Duke and coaching in the NBA he said, "I'm too old to do anything else."— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) March 21, 2014
Both Izzo and Coach K have been mainstays in college basketball, and it doesn’t seem as if that’s going to change in the near future. Both coaching veterans appear content and comfortable in their current situations, which may come as a disappointment to a handful of professional franchises.
The Los Angeles Lakers, for instance, are likely going to cut ties with offensive guru Mike D’Antoni after experiencing their worst season since the franchise moved to L.A. in 1960-61.
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith cited a source who said D’Antoni would be “gone at the end of the season,” (h/t Lakers Nation’s Corey Hansford).
The Lakers will almost certainly be looking for a new man to patrol the sidelines.
That fails to mention the New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz—who could all have openings at the position in a matter of months.
Additionally, B/R’s own Ethan Norof pointed out the mess that is the Pistons via Twitter, citing their own need for a new coach (they've already been tied to Izzo through the rumor mill):
#Pistons have a franchise center in Andre Drummond & a ton of unanswered questions after that. Dumars is toast. Need a real coach, too.— Ethan Norof (@Mr_Norof) April 5, 2014
As NBA teams start to narrow their focus on coaching candidates this summer, guys like Izzo may merely be occupied with recruiting for future tournament runs.