It’s not surprising at all, but it’s still good to hear it being reported that Juwan Howard is telling the NBA he’s not interested in leaving Michigan basketball.
Just about anyone close to the Michigan basketball program has been saying that there is no reason to worry about Juwan Howard leaving for the NBA.
As discussed earlier this week by our Alex Hinton, when you have success, it sheds a light on you and it’s going to lead to these types of opportunities. And there have been reports that both the Blazers and Celtics had an interest in Juwan for their head-coaching positions.
But now, it’s being reported by Adrian Wojnarowski that Juwan is telling NBA teams he’s not interested in their overture.
“Michigan’s Juwan Howard continues to tell NBA teams he’s not interested in even a discussion on leaving Ann Arbor,” is part of what the ESPN NBA reporter tweeted, also adding that teams were starting to focus more on Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway, another former NBA all-star turned college head coach.
A relief for Michigan basketball fans
For the Wolverine faithful, it’s just a relief. No one really expected Howard to be interested in leaving for the NBA after just two seasons with Michigan, but you never know what can happen. In the sports world, people have learned to never say never.
However, when Juwan and his family talked about returning to Ann Arbor to bring home a national championship, I believe they sincerely meant that.
It’s clear that the University of Michigan means a lot to Juwan Howard. Otherwise, he would have passed up the chance and interviewed for multiple NBA head-coaching jobs as he was going to before he came to Ann Arbor. He would be an NBA head coach already if he wanted to be.
Instead, he chose to take the job at Michigan and that job isn’t close to finished.
So far, his success has been impressive. Michigan would have been selected to play in the 2020 NCAA tournament had it been played and in 2021, the Wolverines won the Big Ten title before reaching the Elite 8 without one of its best players in Isaiah Livers, who was hurt.
There is some uncertainty about next year’s roster with Hunter Dickinson exploring his NBA draft options, but with the top-ranked recruiting class and three McDonald’s All-Americans coming to Ann Arbor, there should be enough talent for another run.
Someday, Juwan will likely leave Michigan basketball for the NBA. But it will come after he’s had the chance to coach both of his sons and also after he’s led the Wolverines to a national title.
At least that’s my hope.