Izzo occasionally wonders ‘what if’ about Cavaliers

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Tom Izzo

East Lansing – As more than a million fans hit the streets in downtown Cleveland to celebrate the city's first professional sports championship since 1964 with the Cavaliers’ NBA championship parade Wednesday, Tom Izzo was asked at the Breslin Center if he ever wondered "what if” since he was courted by Dan Gilbert to be the Cavs’ head coach in 2010.

“Once in a while I do, not because they just won it, it’s because he’s a good guy and I was really excited when I talked with him,” said Izzo of Gilbert. “I felt I could work for Dan Gilbert and that he was going to win. I left there one night and told my wife, ‘I could work for that guy.’ He just had that energy about him.

“I’m really happy for Dan and Cleveland and LeBron. Hey, they did something historic. Do I think about it? I’d be dumb not to think about it. But, do I obsess over it? No.”

Gilbert went hard after Izzo in June 2010, offering him a reported five-year, $30 million deal. That was just after Izzo guided the Spartans to their second straight Final Four appearance, but also a month before LeBron James departed for the Miami Heat.

James took his talents to South Beach, helping the Heat win a pair of NBA titles in four years before returning to Cleveland to win yet another NBA championship.

Izzo guided the Spartans to another Final Four appearance in 2015 and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this past April.

“It worked out for me and for him (Gilbert),” Izzo said.

Izzo: NBA teams have nothing to fear about Valentine