Last week the Tom Izzo saga was a refreshing break from all the LeBron James free agency nonsense. As Izzo has now stretched his decision past the weekend, and with no end in sight, this story is becoming more and more of a nuisance itself. So it’s of little surprise that the delay in this decision might be directly tied to the LeBron James free agency story.
According to Brian Windhorst’s Twitter account, LeBron will continue not to speak to any of the Cavs’ coaching candidates:
A source today: LeBron respects coach Izzo but continues his plan not to get involved with #Cavs coach search or speak to candidates.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s worth once again pointing out that this continues to be LeBron’s right to play this thing out however he prefers. No matter what his intentions are, not talking to Izzo makes sense if protecting his intentions is his top priority. This way, nobody can read into Izzo taking the job or not taking it. It is solely up to Izzo what he wants to do and LeBron has nothing to do with it.
However, if LeBron really has any real intention of staying in Cleveland, does it make any sense for him to ignore Izzo? By all accounts, one of the major holdups at this point is Izzo’s desire to talk to LeBron and to get a feel for LeBron’s future. If you believe LeBron that winning is his top priority, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to not want to talk to potential coaches no matter where he might play. It would certainly stand to reason that if LeBron wanted to play for Izzo that he would at least take a little time to talk to the potential coach.
I really only see three possibilities here that make any sense. 1) LeBron has no intention of coming back to Cleveland and thus doesn’t care at all about the coaching search. 2) LeBron doesn’t really think Izzo is the best choice to be coach of the Cavs and he is thus trying to dissuade him from taking it. 3) LeBron cares more about keeping all this free agency hype and nonsense going strong than he does about making sure the Cavs get the best coach available.
On a personal level, I don’t know how I feel about Tom Izzo coaching in the NBA. I have more than my fair share of question marks and red flags considering Izzo, but there are red flags about every candidate. What I can say with complete certainty, though, is that it’s frustrating that LeBron can’t even muster up the ability to fake that he cares about the Cavs coaching search.
This is just further evidence of LeBron continuing to hold the franchise hostage and to make everything be about him. Of course most of us still want LeBron to stay in Cleveland. None of this changes my stance on that specific issue. You just wish the franchise wouldn’t have to continuously find itself in such difficult positions of trying to weigh doing what’s best for the franchise with what LeBron’s intentions and desires are. It would be nice if those two topics were one and the same for once.
The reality of the matter is, they’re not. Tom Izzo is either going to agree to come to Cleveland, or he’s not. LeBron James is either going to re-sign in Cleveland, or he’s not. The only thing we know for sure is that Tom Izzo’s decision seems to be much more tied to LeBron’s future than the other way around. And that is precisely why LeBron continues to refuse to discuss anything with the Cavaliers organization. As is usually the case with LeBron, the Cavaliers need him much more he needs them, and he knows it. LeBron’s decision will be bigger than any one coach, even a coach as highly thought of as Tom Izzo.