Rudy Tomjanovich honored by championship team players

In a surprise tribute, Rudy Tomjanovich is honored by his former players ahead of his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  

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Watch Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Mario Elie, Vernon Maxwell and Matt Bullard join Dave as they recall stories of the championship teams of the legendary Houston Rockets coach (and player) Rudy T.  

Only in Episode 10 of the Dave Ward & Friends Podcast will you find such an in-depth tribute to the Houston Rockets coach to lead a team to two consecutive NBA titles (seasons 1993-94 and 1994-95).

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“I was blessed to be around these guys, they not only made me proud, but they made our whole city proud,” Tomjanovich told Dave. “And they did it the right way, they did it together.”

Mario Elie
“He gets the best out of his players. He allows you to be yourself.”

Clyde Drexler
“Rudy obviously is a player’s coach. He played the game. He knew what we were going through. You always got the feeling that he had you had his support. He would do whatever he could to help the team. And that’s all we as a player, that’s all you can ask for, a guy who’s knowledgeable, who supports you and puts you in a position to succeed. That was Rudy T. And every now and then on the bus we had a few laughs.”

Vernon Maxwell
“I know I gave some damn hard times and a headache, he probably was tired of me, but I mean, he was the best coach I ever had. It was a pleasure of mine just to play for you, Coach. I mean, I love you so much…you let me go out and play the way…I only knew how to play. And that’s when I felt like I became the player that I was. And and I appreciated you for that.”

Matt Bullard
“When Rudy was coaching us, it was like we were all grown up together. You know, Rudy was ahead of us in his maturation process, but I think he helped us all grow up together. And it was more like a friendship rather than a coach player type relationship that we were all working together. We were all pulling together. Everybody had a voice. Rudy was making the final decisions, but I think what I’ve learned from Rudy throughout the years is that’s the proper way to lead a group of of men, lead a group of guys is to get everybody involved.”

Hakeem Olajuwon
“It’s like one big family. We all try to win and we do it together. And that was the experience for me, I’m sure for everybody else, we had a great time.”

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