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Hakeem Olajuwon accepts Hall of Fame invite from Rudy Tomjanovich

Rockets, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich

Legendary Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich is being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this year and as is customary, will need someone to present him when he gets inducted. Per Mark Berman of Fox KRIV, Tomjanovich has chosen former teammate Calvin Murphy and Hakeem Olajuwon, whom Tomjanovich coached as both assistant and head coach from 1984 until 2001.

Tomjanovich and the Olajuwon-led Rockets won back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 and Tomjanovich recognizes how important the Hall of Fame big man was to his career.

“It’s the right way, because he’s the reason I’m standing up there. If I don’t have Hakeem, does it happen? We don’t know, probably not.He was such a big part of my life,” Tomjanovich said.

Tomjanovich spent 12 years as an NBA head coach — 11 with Houston and one with the Los Angeles Lakers. During that span, Tomjanovich compiled a record 527-416 with a 51-39 record in seven playoff appearances.

Olajuwon said he felt honored to be asked to present for his former coach and also recognized the importance Tomjanich had on his illustrious career.

Tomjanovich also spent 11 years in the NBA as a player. The second overall pick in the 1970 draft, the 6-foot-8 forward made five All-Star games in six seasons between 1974 and 1979. Paired with Murphy, the duo was one of the best scoring one-two punches in the league and helped the Rockets make the playoffs multiple times throughout the 70s.

The former Rockets coach joins a 2020 Hall of Fame class that includes Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings among others.