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On Air: The Official Blog of WSJU Sports

If Izzo heads to the NBA he won't be cutting down anymore nets.

ESPN 1050NY is reporting that sources close to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo say he is leaving East Lansing and is headed to the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Honestly, this comes as a great surprise because, with all the success he has had at the college level, why would he go down what seems to be the dark road that many have gone down before with little success, the college to pro transition?

Ask John Calipari, Rick Pitino, and Tim Floyd how hard it is. Guys who have been well-regarded in college just can’t seem to find their footing at the pro level. Maybe it’s the difference in player personality, maybe it’s the level of competition, but there is something that just doesn’t translate.

There are two important things to consider. Firstly, why would he want to leave? With Lucas, Summers, Roe, and Green all returning to Michigan State, it seems they have a solid shot at winning the National Title. Clearly, if these reports are true, college has lost its allure to Izzo. If there is any chance to win it all again, this year is the year.

The other thing is this: what does it mean for the LeBron sweepstakes? LeBron has said nothing about hand-picking a coach or GM, and, outside of the Larry King interview, has not tipped his hand about where he may land.

In my opinion, Izzo would be going to Cleveland in hopes that LeBron will stay, but Izzo’s presence will not influence James as to where he will go. One must remember, in 2000, Atlanta offered Izzo a job and he turned it down. That was clearly because there was no chance to win. But, the thing is that, if LeBron leaves, Cleveland becomes that 2000 Hawks team. Izzo would really be rolling the dice.

Coach K was smart to turn down the Nets job this year, and it would be prudent for Izzo to stay where he is and make a run at the National Title this year.  But, the bright lights of the NBA and the prospect of coaching LeBron may be too strong to refuse this time around for Coach Izzo.


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