By JERRY TAPP
Rudy Tomjanovich is one of 13 finalists for the 2018 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Tomjanovich is one of those unique candidates in that he not only had a stellar playing career (he was a five-time All-Star with the Houston Rockets), but he was also a very successful NBA head coach winning a pair of NBA championships with the Rockets.
There are 31 NBA coaches who have 500 or more career wins; Tomjanovich is one of those coaches with 527 career victories. Of those 31 coaches, 19 were also NBA players. Of those 19 players, only five of them had 500 or more career coaching wins and scored 10,000 or more points as an NBA player. Again, Tomjanovich is one of those five men.
Following are the five NBA coaches who had 500 or more wins and scored 10,000 or more points as an NBA player.
Lenny Wilkens, 1,332 coaching wins, 17,772 points scored
Jerry Sloan, 1,221 coaching wins, 10,571 points scored
Don Nelson, 1,335 coaching wins, 10,898 points scored
Gene Shue, 784 coaching wins, 10,068 points scored
Rudy Tomjanovich, 527 coaching wins, 13,383 points scored
(Note: Of the five men listed above, Wilkens, Sloan and Nelson are already in the Hall of Fame.)
It doesn’t look like we’ll be adding any men to the above list in the near future. Of the active coaches with 400 or more career wins, two (Erik Spoelstra and Alvin Gentry) did not play in the NBA, while the other coach, Scott Brooks, has 420 coaching wins, but scored only 3,317 points in his NBA career.
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