This happens every summer. NBA teams court Michigan State supercoach Tom Izzo, and NBA teams get turned down. But this time, the lure was much stronger. This time, the offer was $30 million to tutor LeBron James, the best player in the game. And again the offer was turned down.
Like I said a couple weeks ago, I knew “H to the Izzo” was staying, unless he had a guarantee that he could coach LeBron. Then there might have been a slight chance he would bolt for Cleveland. Well it still didn’t happen. It’s also been rumored (or reported- depending on your definition of news these days) that Izzo had previously turned down an offer to coach the Chicago Bulls this season as well.
Here’s what he said in a statement released by the University late this afternoon.
“It’s been an agonizing week as I tried to make a decision about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I apologize for the time the process has taken, but sometimes there are opportunities that come about that must be thoroughly examined. I’m no different than any other successful coach in that I’ve had multiple inquiries before, but this one was uniquely intriguing. There was a lot of information to gather and consider and some of it wasn’t easily obtainable. But when making a life decision, I owed it to myself and my family to do my due diligence. From that I never wavered. And I’m pleased to say I am here for life at Michigan State.
“The entire Michigan State community has been terrific. I’m almost embarrassed by some of the acts of support, but I’m certainly touched. I tried to approach this decision in a rational manner, but my heart was always at MSU.
“My goals are not limited to Spartan basketball. I want to do whatever I can to make our entire athletic department and university better. Most important is helping Mark Dantonio and his football team attain its goal of winning a Big Ten Championship and playing in the Rose Bowl.”
Written by Paul M. Banks, President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. Banks is a member of both the Football Writers Association of America, and the United States Basketball Writers. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
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