HOUSTON - Going back to Houston, Texas over a week ago on All-Star Saturday night in the Toyota Center, there sat Houston Rockets legendary player and coach, Rudy Tomjanovich.
Along with Yao Ming, Clyde Drexler, and a few other former NBA players, Tomjanovich was answering questions with the media that Saturday night following the All-Star events.
With the opportunity present, I was able to ask Coach Tomjanovich about his thoughts of the number one-seeded San Antonio Spurs so far this season. Tomjanovich, a two-time NBA champion head coach, had plenty to say on Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs’ franchise altogether.
“(They are) just one of the best organizations in the world,” began Tomjanovich on the Spurs, “I mean those guys have stayed up there.”
“Pop is fantastic,” continued Tomjanovich, “I really admire him and respect him. Those guys do it the right way, they handle themselves, (and) their players going back to David Robinson, (and) (Tim) Duncan is a character-integrity guy.”
“Tony Parker, I saw (Bruce) Bowen, those guys too, are just class guys and they’ve got an identity. They play their game, and they’re successful.”
Tomjanovich’s final thoughts on the Spurs?
“It’s just amazing how they are always right there (at the end).”
I wanted to ask Tomjanovich about the Spurs because of some of the parallels his championship Rockets teams had with the Spurs’ franchise in the Pop-Duncan era. Tomjanovich had his great star in Hakeem Olajuwan, while Popovich has not only Duncan, but Manu Ginobili and Parker.
Tomjanovich’s Rockets claimed the NBA championship twice in 1994 and 1995, and Popovich and the Spurs have already claimed the title four times while they currently seek their fifth title this season.
As for Tomjanovich, he said health-wise he’s doing better and has check-ups once a month. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he and his son are running a “money ball” type of program that uses a statistics database to help the Los Angeles Lakers in their preparation.