It doesn’t look like Stan Van Gundy was the only man in the plans for Pistons owner Tom Gores. It seems that what was supposed to be a long and thorough search for the next general manager and coach was actually a rather faster moving machine looking for one man that could turn around the franchise.
According to Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune, the Pistons offered Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo the same contract offer that Stan Van Gundy eventually accepted.
Izzo was offered the same five-year, $35 million offer to coach and run the Pistons that Van Gundy eventually accepted last week. Izzo also declined when Cleveland fired Mike Brown and called for the second time in four years. Hoiberg, too, appears content to remain in college coaching, at least for now.
Both Izzo and Van Gundy also talked with Timberwolves president Flip Saunders about their coaching opening, but discussions stalled early in the process before any formal interviews.
Izzo has been vocal since the end of the NCAA tournament about the fact that he plans on staying at Michigan State for the near future.
The Iron Mountain native has been on the campus of Michigan State since 1983 when he became an assistant coach after four years as an assistant at Northern Michigan University.
Since taking over as head coach in 1995 after legendary coach Jud Heathcote, Izzo has a 468–187 record and has won 71% of his games as head coach of the Spartans.
It would of been interesting to see what changes Izzo made to the franchise right away as the president and coach. He is most known for the toughness he demands on the floor. If he ever leaves the college ranks, the number one question that people will ask is if his system offense can translate to a game full of isolation and individual stars.
If there is a system that it could of worked in, Detroit has been one of the few franchises to prove that you can win a title without at least a couple superstars on the roster.
After the rumors wind down, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Michigan State offer Izzo another raise to keep him in the green and white for quite some time.