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Rudy Tomjanovich Excluded from 2017 Hall of Fame Class

Dec 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Former Houston Rockets player and head coach Rudy Tomjanovich waves to the crowd during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Former Houston Rockets player and head coach Rudy Tomjanovich waves to the crowd during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Despite an illustrious career both as a player and as a coach, Rudy Tomjanovich’s name was left off the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame Class.

Nope, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. While two former members of the Harlem Globetrotters made the cut, Rudy Tomjanovich was snubbed from an induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame this year. He’ll almost certainly be voted in at some point, but it’s ridiculous that it’s taking this long.

In his 11-year playing career (all with the Houston Rockets), Rudy T made an appearance in five All-Star games. He was a versatle small forward, averaging as many as 24 points per game in one season and nearly 12 rebounds per game in another. As we pointed out last month, he’s arguably the best small forward in the history of the Rockets franchise.

If that weren’t enough to earn him a HOF induction, Rudy’s coaching career was even better. He coached from 1984-2005, serving as a head coach for the last 13 seasons. After playing for the Houston Rockets, he coached the team in all but his last campaign, a brief stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Tomjanovich finished his coaching career with a record of 527-416, winning 55.9% of his games. He coached the best season in Rockets history, the 1993-94 campaign when they finished 58-24. Most notably, he led the team to the only two NBA Titles in franchise history. Rudy T is the man behind the original Clutch City.

Understandably, some people around the Rockets organization aren’t happy at Rudy Tomjanovich’s snub. Calvin Murphy had this to say about it:

Calvin Murphy (@CalvinMurphyRS) on Rudy Tomjanovich not joining him in @Hoophall : "Are you kidding me? This is a travesty. That's terrible" pic.twitter.com/oaQ6g4JF5m

— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 1, 2017

As the man who succeeded Rudy T in coaching the Houston Rockets, Jeff Van Gundy was also unpleasantly surprised that he missed the cut:

Jeff Van Gundy on Rudy Tomjanovich: "I'm deeply saddened Rudy's great career…continues to be overlooked when it comes to the Hall of Fame" pic.twitter.com/IPNZ4P7jYu

— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) April 1, 2017

More from Space City Scoop

All things considered, it’s still a good day for Houston Rockets fans. Tracy McGrady highlights the 2017 HOF class, immediately following Yao Ming, who was inducted a year ago. Rudy T’s exclusion shouldn’t be reason to neglect T-Mac’s accomplishment. However, to believe that the voters got it right would be foolish.

One would think that Rudy Tomjanovich will eventually be enshrined in the HOF. He’ll have to wait another year at the very least, but there’s no doubt that his career, both as a player and a coach, makes him more than qualified for the honor.

Next: Top 5 Small Forwards in Houston Rockets History

This year’s Houston Rockets have struggled as of late, in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season. Keep up with Space City Scoop as the playoffs begin for more analysis, news, and opinions on the Houston Rockets.

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