Whenever there are whispers of a great college coach considering a new job in the professional ranks, the tendency is to cringe. "No, don't go! The game is totally different and if you fail, you can't go back home. Because it may have been burned to ashes by Lane Kiffin or Tim Floyd or one of the lesser Bowdens."
This must be what Tom Izzo is thinking, because I'm a freakin' mind reader. Out of nowhere, Cleveland Cavaliers president Dan Gilbert floated this offer to the venerable Michigan State Spartans basketball head coach, offering the opportunity to upgrade his team's mascot from Ancient Greece to the 17th century England. Also, something something something LeBron. Having been given ample time, there has been no denial from the Izzo camp, meaning it's a possibility.
Perhaps he would be foolish to leave his East Lansing empire, where he won a national championship in 2000 and reached the Final Four the previous two years. Or maybe his time at MSU has run its course and it's time to explore other ventures. Your local columnist already has impeccable business advice for Izzo. Because it's not their livelihood or legacy.
So only Tom Izzo knows what's best for him. But in terms of my gut reaction — I'm INCREDIBLY interested in how I'll feel! — for once, I'd be okay if a college coach left for the NBA. So many before him have tried, from Rick Pitino to John Calipari, and uprooting a legend seems like a sad end to a coach at a successful program. Ultimately the "promotion" doesn't work.
The story of a coach like this isn't supposed to end with another job. It's supposed to end with a retirement speech and perhaps cake.