Well it’s that time of year again, where the NBA coaching rumors turn their attention to MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo. This time it is the Orlando Magic reportedly showing interest.
The Orlando Magic have expressed interest in Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for the team's head coaching position, league sources told The Athletic.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) May 24, 2018
Izzo’s name always seems to come up linked to some job or is often tossed around as a possibility even if not a serious one by those in the media. However, this time could be different as Seth Davis points out.
Izzo has seriously flirted with the NBA twice before. The first time came in 2000 after leading the Spartans to their second ever national title when the Atlanta Hawks came after him hard. Izzo decided to stay at MSU and seemed firmly entrenched in East Lansing until a decade later, when the Cleveland Cavaliers, owned by notable Michigan State alum Dan Gilbert pursued Izzo for their head coaching job.
Ultimately Izzo stayed in East Lansing and proclaimed himself a “Spartan for life.” But with all the controversy swirling around Michigan State and Izzo’s program over the last several months, you have to wonder if Izzo might be seriously considering what would likely be his last shot at an NBA job.
There is also a Michigan connection to the Magic, who are owned by Richard DeVos, the Grand Rapids billionaire and Amway co-founder. The DeVos family has also been a heavy donor to MSU in the past.
A year ago I would have said there was no chance that Tom Izzo would ever leave Michigan State, but a lot has happened in the last year. Now I don’t think there is really anything that would surprise me anymore. MSU will just have to wait and see what happens with their Hall of Fame coach, and whether he decides it is the right time to take a shot at the pros or not.