Would Izzo leave Michigan State to coach Pistons?
There’s a good chance that the Detroit Pistons will make major changes within the next month.
That’s why, once again, eyes are turning to East Lansing and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, the Pistons are expected to pursue Izzo if, as presumed, Joe Dumars and John Loyer are replaced after yet another disappointing season. Owner Tom Gores made it clear before this season that he anticipated his team making the playoffs, especially after the high-profile additions of Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings.
For his part, Izzo didn’t seem interested when asked about the rumor on Tuesday.
"I’ve always said I’d never say never to anything because you never know what it brings," he told ESPN. "But I’ve so much more work to do here. I have a great president, a great AD in Mark Hollis and a football coach that I really get along with."
Gores was concerned enough by the team’s slow progression to fire Maurice Cheeks after only 50 games. Gores then told beat writers this week that he still thinks it was a necessary move, even though the Pistons have fallen out of the playoff race since Loyer took over.
They are 5-15 since the coaching change, with the biggest issues coming on the defensive end of the floor. Jennings also has seen his production drop off sharply after the departure of Cheeks, whom Jennings spoke of as a "father figure."
Loyer also dropped first-round pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out of the rotation, giving most of his minutes to Kyle Singler and Will Bynum, but still hasn’t found a winning combination.
With the Spartans in yet another Sweet 16 and Izzo having produced so many NBA players during his career, it would make perfect sense for Gores to be interested in bringing him to Auburn Hills.
But given the fact that Izzo turned down a chance to coach LeBron James in Cleveland in 2010, it’s hard to imagine he would be interested in taking over a franchise with no superstar and a dysfunctional roster.
"This is a pretty good place for me right now," Izzo said of his MSU gig. "We’re in a pretty good spot. Program’s in pretty good shape. So, ain’t broke, why fix it?"
Still, there’s no harm in asking.