Hall of Fame
CLASS OF 2020
He’s the man with a broad smile, an easy laugh, and a last name so long that he’s known simply as Rudy T.
That nickname worked best on the back of his jersey when he played for the Houston Rockets, and it stuck. It didn’t change when he coached the Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995 or when he coached the USA team devoid of stars to a bronze medal in the 1998 FIBA World Championships, or when he coached the USA to an 8-0 record and the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Rudy Tomjanovich on the "Red Carpet" at the 2020 Houston Sports Awards.
And, yes, it was still what we called him when he was tapped for the NBA Hall of Fame in 2020.
One of the most respected coaches in the game and a five-time NBA All-Star, Rudy T., is as iconic as the famous line he delivered after the Rockets won their second title:
“Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.’’
He would know.
Rudy T has been a supporter of the Houston Sports Awards since it's inception. In 2023 he introduced Calvin Murphy at his induction and did this interview with Kevin Eschenfelder on the "Red Carpet"
Rudy T. came out of Michigan as a 6-foot-9 raw talent with a knack for scoring; a tough player who led the nation in rebounding, finished his college career as the Wolverines’ all-time leading rebounder, and was the second player taken in the draft.
But instead of stepping into the starting lineup, he rode the bench. And he bided his time. It simply lit a fire underneath him.
Rudy Tomjanovich on the day his selection into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.
It wasn’t the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last that someone doubted him. Every time life threw the kid from Hamtramck, a tough 2.1 square miles of a town tucked into Detroit, a curve, he dug deep and found a way to turn things around as a player and a coach.
Watch the introduction of Rudy Tomjanovich at the 2020 Houston Sports Awards.
Those two NBA titles? They were the first world championships for the City of Houston. And as a player? He finished his career as the third-leading scorer in team history behind Calvin Murphy and fellow Houston Sports Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. Tomjanovich spent nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Rockets before taking over the head coaching job in 1992. He finished his coaching career with a record of 527-416.
Rudy Tomjanovich receives his Hall of Fame jacket at the 2020 Houston Sports Awards. Knot Standard has been the sole providor of the HSHOF jackets since the inception of the HOF.
Harris County - Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke and Mayor Sylvester Turner with Rudy Tomjanovich and his plaque on Walk of Fame.
Rudy T with Country Singer Toby Keith at the 2022 Houston Sports Awards.
Two legendary championship Houston basketball coaches Rudy Tomjanovic (Rockets 2 championships) and Van Chancellor (Comets 4 championships) at the 2022 Houston Sports Awards.
Houston Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020.