Houston Rockets: Rudy Tomjanovich’s HOF entry overdue but well worth it

Houston Rockets' head coach Rudy Tomjanovich (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets' head coach Rudy Tomjanovich (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Legendary Houston Rockets’ coach Rudy Tomjanovich is finally a Hall-of-Famer. Even with the waiting, his enshrinement is finally worth it. Let’s examine.

After waiting for 13 years, former Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich has finally got his long-awaited entry into the Hall of Fame. His entry not only puts another chapter of Houston Rockets’ lore in Springfield, Mass. but also gives fans a reminder of his accomplishments both on and off the court.

Houston Rockets fans, we needed some good news in the midst of all these coronavirus circumstances that are harping our daily lives. We needed something positive to happen to our sports teams when you have teams dealing with the aftermath of scandals, bad trades, and what could’ve been. We needed something to make this city of Houston proud of our sports and have a higher sense of reverence for our teams.

Today, we got the news that many of us longed for.  Rudy Tomjanovich will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Let this sink in.

Rudy Tomjanovich. Hall of Famer.

Has it sunk in yet?


Well, it should because we have waited for so long to finally have him the hall of fame. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and he’s in the Hall of Fame. The man from Hamtramck, Mich. is in the Hall of Fame.

Of course, Rudy T. will be part of a great class. Joining him is the late Kobe Bryant, MVP, a five-time champion, who Rudy coached when he was with the Lakers. Kevin Garnett, MVP, a one-time champion, who Rudy T. coached on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Basketball team.

Tim Duncan, a five-time champion, MVP. Kim Mulkey, a national basketball figure as a player, an assistant coach, and three-time NCAA champ as a head coach plus an Olympic gold medal. Eddie Sutton took four teams to the NCAA Tournament. Barbara Stevens had more than 1,000 career wins in her NCAA coaching career.

The fact is, Rudy’s accomplishments are there:

He’s the only person in NBA history to score 10,000 points as a player and win 500 games as a coach.

A five-time All-Star

  • One of nine coaches to win back-to-back championships along with fellow inductees Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, Pat Riley, Chuck Daly, and Bill Russell to name a few.
  • One of 14 coaches to win two or more titles

  • One of three coaches to win a gold medal and an NBA Championship along with Hall-of-Famers Daly and Lenny Wilkens.
  • Coached the 2000 U.S Olympic team to a goal medal in Sydney, Australia.

    Coached 1998 U.S FIBA Team to a bronze in the World Cup when there were no NBA players

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    on the roster because of labor issues.

    Coached a Houston Rockets’ outfit that became the first to beat four teams that won 50+ games in a single playoff series.

    Coached a Rockets team that was, and still is, the lowest seed in NBA Playoff history to win an NBA crown at the sixth seed.

  • Coached Hall-of-Famers Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Kevin Garnett, Alonzo Mourning, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Gary Payton either in the NBA or international competition.
  • Why he waited this long to become a Hall-of-Famer is beyond all of us. So many arguments could be made about this drought. Perhaps it was because he was best remembered as the player who was punched by Kermit Washington in 1977 that caused him to nearly lose his life.

    Perhaps it was because he coached at a time when there was another dynasty that was stealing the spotlight.

    Perhaps he won his two titles when a certain someone decided to break for baseball. But we know the truth of what would happen if those two would meet.

    Next. Rockets: Why Rudy T. deserved to be a Hall of Famer. dark

    Tomjanovich deserved to be in the Hall of Fame a long time ago. The years of anguish and frustration with the snubs have finally boiled over. It’s okay to be angry at the fact he waited this long. But at the end of the day, he is in and we cannot wait for him to give his induction speech.

    And just for old time’s sake, let’s watch this.