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Tom Izzo on becoming Pistons coach: ‘Never say never’

Mar 25, 2014, 4:57 PM EDT

Tom Izzo

Tom Izzo has a team in the Sweet 16 that’s trying to win a championship.

The Pistons have a coach who’s trying to finish out the season strong.

If the Pistons are going to pursue Izzo, it will happen this offseason – or at least after Michigan State’s season ends. There’s no reason for it to get done now.

And that’s why both sides – especially Izzo, who doesn’t want to distract his players at this critical juncture – will issue at least partial denials of interest.

Izzo, via ESPN:

“There’s been so many rumors over the years,” the Michigan State coach said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Tuesday. “I look at people I used to recruit against years ago [that] said that I’d be gone, but I’m still here and some of those schools have had three different coaches.

“I’ve always said I’d never say never to anything because you never know what it brings. But I got so much more work to do here. I have a great president, a great AD and a football coach that I really get along [with]. So this is a pretty good place for me right now. We’re in a pretty good spot. Program’s in pretty good shape.

“Ain’t broke, so why fix it?”

This is the stance – never say never, but happy at MSU – Izzo has always taken, and I find it both sincere and logical. Michigan State has and continues to treat him very well – even if he enjoys complaining about small issues, because he likes to complain – but the NBA is still a step up for any competitor, which Izzo certainly is.

As long as he takes this “never say never” approach and and as long as the Pistons don’t have a permanent head coach, the door remains open.

Right now, Izzo doesn’t have any interest in walking through it. In April, though, that could be a different story.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Never hurts for Izzo to keep MSU honest with a reminder of how much leverage he has.

  2. cbking05 - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    You will NEVER win another NCAA Championship

  3. philliesblow - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    The Pistons are an f’d up organization (7 coaches in 9 years) with an absentee owner, the wonderfulness of Josh Smith launching mortar rounds from 3 point land and likely no 1st round draft choice this year. Tom, this is one time you say never.

    • Craig Daitch - Apr 18, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      It only works if Gores does something unprecedented in today’s NBA minus a select few – give Izzo a long-term deal and an assurance that he has authority over any player on the roster. Given the lack of GM in Detroit right now however, I don’t think this is a plausible scenario.

  4. Joe - Mar 26, 2014 at 4:51 AM

    Go from a prestige basketball program where you’re regarded as a hero to the likes of Detroit? Uh… Yeah…

  5. purdueman08 - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Tom, stay at MSU and keep ruling the Big Ten. The Pistons are nowhere near the bad boys of detroit they once were and don’t seem able to make any sort of progress to change the fact.

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