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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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
Merry Christmas to all!
The NBA tips off its abbreviated 2011-2012 season today. Here are a few stats to get you in the mood for some basketball. First, a few trivia questions to test your knowledge of the NBA. See if you can come up with the answer before you sneak a peek at the answers later in the blog.
1. Are former NBA players more successful coaches than those coaches who never played in the league?
2. Can you name the seven NBA teams that have won over 250 games over the past five NBA seasons?
3. Which NBA team has scored the most points over the past five seasons?
4. Which NBA team has made the most three-point shots in the past five seasons?
Question #1. Of the seven NBA coaches who have won 1,000 or more games in their career, all seven were former players. They are: Don Nelson (1335), Lenny Wilkens (1332), Jerry Sloan (1221), Pat Riley (1210), Phil Jackson (1155), Larry Brown (1098), George Karl (1036). Here is the list of the Top 10 winningest NBA coaches who did not play in the league: Bill Fitch (944), Red Auerbach (938), Dick Motta (935), Jack Ramsey (864), Cotton Fitzsimmons (832), Gregg Popovich (797), John MacLeod (707), Mike Fratello (667), Chuck Daly (638) and Flip Saunders (636).
Question #2: Last year’s champions, the Dallas Mavericks, top the NBA with 280 wins over the past five seasons. They are followed by San Antonio (279), Los Angeles Lakers (278), Orlando (262), Boston (258), Phoenix (256) and Denver (252).
Question #3: The Phoenix Suns have filled the scorebook better than any other NBA team over the past five seasons with 44,687 points. They are followed by Golden State (44,146), Denver (43,808), the Lakers (42,806) and Utah (42,224).
Question #4: The three-point champ over the past five seasons is Orlando with 3571. Phoenix is second with 3463, followed by Golden State with 3329, the New York Knicks with 3296 and Houston with 3232.