HOUSTON — The man who led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in the mid-90s is now a Hall of Famer.
Rudy Tomjanovich is one of nine people to be selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. He will be enshrined there on August 29.
Tomjanovich -- whose phrase, 'Don't ever underestimate the heart of a champion' became a rally cry that's still quoted today -- was a five-time All-Star, who spent his entire 11-year playing career with the Rockets. His number 45 was retired on January 28, 1982.
He later became the team's head coach and in his second full season at the helm, the Rockets won their first NBA championship in the 1993-94 season. Then they repeated with a sweep of Orlando in the Finals the next season.
“Congratulations to Rudy T on his well-deserved and long overdue selection to the Hall of Fame,” said Rockets owner Tilman J. Fertitta. “As a longtime Rockets fan, I admired Rudy’s tenacity as a player and loved watching his attention to detail in coaching the back-to-back championship teams in the 90’s. Heart of a champion! This is an exciting day not only for Rudy and his family, but for Rockets fans everywhere.”
Here is the class of 2020, which included the late Koby Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and more: