There are headlines all over the internet this morning about the possibility of Michigan State coach Tom Izzo coaching the Detroit Pistons next year.
If you’ve clicked on this headline, you’ve probably clicked on a few of those. Or listened to talk radio or television pundits discuss the possibility.
You’ve been had, by an ever-developing-media-makes-news-to-break-news-page-views-click-’em culture.
ESPN is the best at this. One of its analysts will say something controversial, which creates a headline and a discussion point. Slow news day? No worries. Get Ron Jaworski to say he wouldn’t draft Johnny Manziel.
ESPN’s Jalen Rose — not exactly the source on Tom Izzo (maybe the furthest person from it) — did it this time, with USA today’s Sam Amick giving the story credibility, except that all he said was, “One name (Pistons owner Tom Gores is) expected to go after” is Izzo.
About as surprising and as much breaking news as a pimple-faced 15-year-old boy being attracted to a leggy 17-year-old high school senior.
If Gores wasn’t interested in Izzo, that would be news.
Rose’s comments created this artificial stir, and his analysis was so inaccurate, I’m embarrassed media colleagues haven’t pointed that out. Or simply refused to write the story altogether. Some have.
Here’s what Rose said on his podcast on Grantland, implying Izzo is gearing up to leave:
“Just being in the know, being in the loop and really following both sports intimately, watching how Izzo has recruited recently, if you noticed, most of the top schools — Kansas comes to mind, Kentucky and now even Duke — they’re doing more recruiting of what we consider the one-and-done prospects. You notice that Tom Izzo hasn’t really gone heavily after those prospects. It seemed like to me he was gearing up for one last run.”
Say what? So, Jalen, Izzo wasn’t recruiting Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones? He did spent more hours on Cliff Alexander than any Chicago-area recruit since Shannon Brown?
Rose isn’t Izzo’s favorite person. I’m fairly certain they don’t talk all that often. If ever.
Izzo shrugged off the speculation during an ESPN SportsCenter interview on Tuesday, because there really is no story to comment on. But you see how ESPN does this — Rose says something, it becomes a headline, a talking point, and folks tune in to hear Izzo’s response. It’s disgusting journalism, no better than if I said right now …
“The Pistons have no chance of getting Izzo, because Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, an MSU guy and Izzo fan, will outspend anyone should Izzo again express interest in the NBA.”
My logic there is stronger than Rose’s.
I still believe if Tom Izzo wins a national title, he’ll seriously consider leaving — maybe for broadcasting, perhaps the NBA. And if he doesn’t win in Dallas next month, my gut is he’ll stay at MSU a bit longer. He’s started to include himself when he talks about next year, which he wasn’t doing earlier in the season.
But I don’t know. No one does. I don’t think Izzo has even made a decision. At some point, he’ll be done at MSU. He’s 19 years in.
As for Izzo to the Pistons – it’s bar talk right now. It became a headline because a ton of news websites (this one included) will happily take your clicks.
Thanks for clicking.