Tom Izzo Rumors
The long conversation surely reflected Draymond Green expressing gratitude and reminiscing on pleasant memories. After all, the Warriors forward has considered Michigan State coach Tom Izzo “one of my best friends” that has served as a “father figure, coach, friend and brother.”
With Izzo in town for the Warriors’ 128-107 win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, Green’s former coach offered brutal honesty to a man who also speaks his mind. “What are you doing? You cry about every call,” Izzo said. “You’re worried about the wrong things.”
Tom Izzo was succinct, appreciative, reflective and sincere over the course of his introspective 14-minute speech on the occasion of his Hall of Fame enshrinement Friday night in Springfield, Mass. Izzo, who has 524 wins and counting at Michigan State, and has become one of the most successful and revered college coaches, was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Sheryl Swoopes and Jerry Reinsdorf. “Tonight, other than the birth of my children, is the proudest and greatest achievement of my life,” Izzo said at the podium.
The Hall of Fame now awaits, with O’Neal being inducted in a class that includes Allen Iverson, Yao Ming and Tom Izzo, among others. O’Neal told The Vertical that he has chosen four Hall of Famers – Isiah Thomas, Julius Erving, Bill Russell and Alonzo Mourning – to present him in Friday’s ceremony. In 19 seasons, O’Neal earned four championships, three Finals MVPs, one league MVP and 15 All-Star honors, and is seventh on the all-time scoring list.
In 2012, Gilbert had said that the big lesson he learned from James’ departure in 2010 was to never let a player have that much leverage over his franchise again. But coming out of that meeting with James’ agents, Gilbert thought back to the call he’d gotten from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo at the end of the first round of the 2012 NBA draft. Izzo had told him, “You gotta take my guy.” The Cavs had two second-round picks, and Izzo was calling Gilbert, a Michigan State guy, to tell him that Draymond Green was the real deal. “I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat that we didn’t take him,” Gilbert says of Green, who torched the Cavs for 28 points in the Warriors’ 110-77 win in Game 2 of the Finals. “I didn’t listen to my gut.”