If you've ever spent some time on a Michigan State message board during halftime of a college basketball game on ESPN, it usually doesn't take long to find messages criticizing analyst Doug Gottlieb. Why? Well, Spartan fans are not too fond of Gottlieb for his often anti-Michigan State thoughts.
Even MSU athletic director Mark Hollis took to Twitter last November during the Maui Invitational to share his thoughts on something Gottlieb said. Specifically, Gottlieb criticized MSU's character as a basketball team during his halftime analysis, said it was the truth that Tom Izzo was frustrated with this team and also said, "There's a reason that Tom Izzo, for the first time in a long time, thought about going to the NBA and we're seeing some of it play out in this frustrating team." Hollis responded with a few tweets:
"I find it interesting when some media call their own opinion the truth. Is it not an opinion?"
"Spartans won tonight, that's a fact. Izzo loves MSU, fact! Coach loves this team, fact. But thanks for your opinion."
"If you want the truth Doug, Coach Izzo and I welcome you to practice anyday, anytime, anyplace."
Gottlieb was called out this week by Izzo himself after saying on Sunday that Michigan State is only "Kalin Lucas and a bunch of other dudes."
"I don't want to rip him," Izzo said, "but it is amazing when you've been a player you should have a better understanding of what goes on, especially being a player that has gone through some traumatic things yourself."
Izzo was talking about how Gottlieb was kicked off the Notre Dame basketball team during his playing days for stealing a roommate's credit card. He eventually landed at Oklahoma State, but only after being hit with a misdemeanor fraud charge. Izzo wasn't finished with only that, though.
"I respect most analysts, but I think the ones I respect the most are the ones who understand that you have to dig in and really understand the situation," Izzo said. "If I don't get phone calls from someone, they don't know what the hell is going on.
"I would consider them an average analyst, average talk show host, average reporter, average anybody. If they know what's going on in your program and they take the time to find out — and then they want to rip it or applaud it, I've got no problem with it."
Izzo wasn't the only person who took a dig at Gottlieb. In fact, perhaps the best quote of all came from Draymond Green, who said this: "I've played in more Final Fours than him, so that doesn't bother me."
I'd be willing to bet Gottlieb will think twice before he considers making negative comments about Michigan State in the future. Having Mark Hollis say something is one thing, but having Tom Izzo call you out is the definition of being put on notice.