There has been speculation going around in the world of basketball that Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores may potentially be looking for current Michigan State University head basketball coach Tom Izzo to become the new head coach of the Detroit Pistons. Gores, a billionaire who is now in his third season as the owner of the Pistons franchise, recently fired former head coach Maurice Cheeks at a meeting on the morning of February 9. By that point, the Pistons were sitting on a record of 21-29.
Gores’ interest in Tom Izzo is no surprise. Izzo, a Michigan native, has had tremendous success in East Lansing. He has led the Spartans to six Final Four appearances and one NCAA National Championship in 2000. He has been named the National Coach of the Year a total of eight times. Being an in-state coach, Izzo is right in Gores’ backyard. Furthermore, Izzo coaches at Michigan State, which is Gores’ alma mater.
Every Spartan player ever coached by Izzo who has stayed at school for all four years of eligibility has been able to make it to the Final Four at some point during his college career. In order for this impressive streak to continue, Izzo and his Spartans must make it to the Final Four this season.
It has been said that Gores was actually never really interested in hiring Cheeks to begin with. When Cheeks did get hired, however, he signed a three-year deal with the Pistons. Currently, John Loyer is the interim coach for the Pistons.
The Pistons (22-30, 12-16 at home) will take on the Charlotte Bobcats (23-30, 11-16 away) tomorrow (Feb. 18) at 7:30 p.m. ET. Detroit is looking to win the last game of a five-game home stretch in which the team has gone 3-1 so far. The Bobcats are currently in possession of the eighth and final playoff spot with the Pistons trailing right behind them.