Mike Berardino, a columnist for the Sun Sentinel in Florida, is already anticipating the Miami Heat’s exit for the NBA playoffs. Anything short of a championship and he’s saying that head coach Erik Spoelstra would be kicked to the curb. Berardino also has the next head coach lined up – Michigan State’s Tom Izzo.
Izzo is no stranger to NBA flirtation as he seriously considering jumping the Spartans’ ship to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010. So why are the Izzo to the Heat rumors starting to burn? Look nowhere else than former Michigan State and Izzo assistant, Stan Heath. Heath, now the headman at South Florida, said he thought that Izzo was NBA-bound in 2010. He’s doing nothing to smother another flirtation.
“One thing I’ve noticed about Tom is he has a great relationship with his players,” Heath said. “He’s demanding but they respect that and they also know that he cares. That’s why I think one of the key ingredients of his success is how well he gets along with his players. He would have done fine (in the NBA). I think some of the more successful coaches in the NBA — (Gregg) Popovich, for example – are very similar to how Tom is. I think he would have done great. I think college basketball is fortunate that he’s stayed with us.”
The attraction to the Cavs in 2010 was the ability to stay in the midwest and coach one of the world’s most talented players. I would guess the opportunity to coach two of the world’s best in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would be a good test to Izzo’s declaration that he made in June 2010 saying that he is a Spartan for life. You would think that Heath’s conscious would have told him to steer clear of talking about Izzo, his former mentor and chauffeur to coaching success, leaving MSU. But it’s out of sight, out of mind for him. Would Izzo jump should the Heat front office throw yachtfuls of cash at him? I would say probably not, but I guess only he really knows.
That sound you hear now is hundreds of thousands of Michigan State fans jumping on the Miami Heat bandwagon.
[Why Tom Izzo could be another Gregg Popovich in the NBA] Sun-Sentinel