Xavier Tillman: NBA coaches won’t get on you as hard as Tom Izzo did

Tom Izzo and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Tom Izzo and Xavier Tillman, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

Tom Izzo is known for being a tough coach and Xavier Tillman admitted he’s going to miss that as he won’t get that as much in the NBA.

I know what you’re thinking after reading this headline: Xavier Tillman isn’t expecting to get coached hard in the NBA. And that’s not the case.

Tillman knows the NBA is a different beast than college, but he knows that it’s more of a business. Basically, he’s been told that he should be prepared for a different type of coaching in the NBA than he got from Tom Izzo.

NBA coaches don’t have the patience to work with guys who get paid millions, they’ll just move on to the next guy. That’s where the business aspect comes into play. He knows the pressure is going to be at an all-time high.

In an interview with WOOD-TV’s Jack Doles, Tillman talked about what he’s going to miss most about Michigan State (hint: it’s everything) and he spoke about the coaching he got while in East Lansing.

Tillman opened some eyes by saying that the coaching he got from Izzo won’t be replicated at the NBA level.

“I’m gonna miss coaching from coach,” Tillman said. “I’ve been told in the NBA it’s not going to be the same. They’re not going to get on you as hard. It’s more of a business to where if you’re not conforming, they won’t really say much to you, they’ll just kind of sit you down. I’m gonna miss getting that opportunity to be coached and to really learn from my mistakes.”

Not often do you hear kids say they’re going to miss “being coached” by a fiery Izzo right after they graduate — that quote usually happens way down the line — but Tillman graduated a few months ago and he’s already praising the coaching he got from the Hall of Famer.

This is a glowing endorsement for any recruit who is contemplating Michigan State or another top program because Izzo gets kids ready for the NBA.

If you can make it through 3-4 years of Izzo’s tough love coaching style, you can make it through anything.

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