Tom Izzo said on ESPNU’s College Basketball podcast today that he’ll return to Michigan State next season rather than pursue interest from the NBA, as Andy Katz of ESPN.com writes. Izzo had reportedly been a candidate to coach the Wolves and Pistons, though he says he hasn’t heard from any NBA team this year.
“If somebody made me an offer to be the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers that was so good that it would impress everybody, does that mean I would never say never? I’m not doing that anymore,” Izzo said. “I’ve seen too many people get stung that way. But put it this way, I’ve got a big-time recruit coming in an hour and if I was leaving I wouldn’t be recruiting.”
The 59-year-old Izzo strongly denied the rumors linking him to the Pistons last month, but the perception has remained that he had interest in a pro job. People close to the coach told Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com last month that they thought he’d entertain NBA offers but that he wouldn’t leave this year. Fellow ESPN.com Marc Stein scribe suggested about a week ago that Izzo would listen to an offer from Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders, his friend, but it appears as though Saunders can cross Izzo off his list of candidates.
Izzo considered taking the Cavaliers coaching job in 2010, but decided against it. He’s expressed frustration with the changing dynamics of recruiting players for the Spartans, but it looks as though he’ll be doing that job for at least one more year.