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Tom Izzo watching two former MSU players face off in NBA playoffs

Tom Izzo will be rooting on Draymond Green and Max Christie.



Tom Izzo
© Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Izzo is in attendance for Wednesday night’s NBA playoff game between the Lakers and Warriors to watch his former players.

The Warriors and Lakers are about to tip off in the Bay area for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Warriors are led by Steve Kerr who has had one of the most successful coaching tenures in NBA history. On the other side for the Lakers is Darvin Ham. Ham is in his first year as a head coach in the NBA but has the Lakers firing on all cylinders at the right time. Both of them are terrific coaches.

Arguably neither of them will be the best basketball coach in the building tonight.

Draymond Green stepped out to the court to start conducting his pregame warmups. A familiar Spartan face was not far behind him. MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo.

Of course, Draymond played under Izzo from 2008-2012. In that time Green was a consensus All-American once and won Big Ten player of the year once. The two also went to an NCAA championship game together as well as another final four. Michigan State took home three Big Ten regular season championships in Draymond’s time as a Spartan.

Green averaged 10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game in his career at Michigan State.

Former Spartan Max Christie is playing as well

There’s more than one former Spartan on the floor tonight that Izzo is watching. For the Lakers, rookie guard Max Christie has been getting some playing time. Christie only spent a year with Izzo and Michigan State but averaged 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He was also routinely tasked with guarding the best perimeter player on the other team.

Christie’s play was good enough for him to get drafted with pick 35 in the 2022 NBA draft.

He is averaging 3.1 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.5 assists per game in his limited minutes as a rookie. Christie has earned appearances in six of the Lakers’ playoff games so far this postseason. He had six points this last Saturday in the Laker’s big win over Golden State.

Tom Izzo isn’t the only Michigan State coach to sit courtside at a playoff game this postseason. Mel Tucker was spotted in Denver sitting with Phoenix Suns owner and Michigan State alum Mat Ishbia on Tuesday night.


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