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NBCA honors Rudy Tomjanovich with Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award

Rudy Tomjanovich was moved to tears by his latest award, only because he had no idea it was coming or that he was even under consideration.

The Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and two-time NBA champion coach with the Houston Rockets was announced Sunday as this year's recipient of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

"The great thing about this award is it came to me out of the blue. I had no idea that I was up for this," Tomjanovich said in Boston on Sunday, when the award was presented before Game 2 of the NBA Finals. "I happened to be with my son up in Houston when I got the call ... and I got emotional. My son kept asking, 'Are you OK? Are you OK?'"

Tomjanovich assured his son after hanging up with NBCA President Rick Carlisle that all was fine.

"And then I did cry," Tomjanovich said.

The NBCA came up with the Daly award to honor those who "set a standard for integrity, competitive excellence and tireless promotion of NBA basketball." Carlisle pointed out that Daly and Tomjanovich had plenty of parallels: Both coached back-to-back NBA champions, both coached the U.S. to Olympic gold and both are held in the highest regard in the coaching world.

Prior recipients are Rick Adelman (2023), Mike Fratello (2022), Larry Brown (2021), Del Harris (2020), Frank Layden (2019), Doug Moe (2018), Al Attles and Hubie Brown (2017), K.C. Jones and Jerry Sloan (2016), Dick Motta (2015), Bernie Bickerstaff (2014), Bill Fitch (2013), Pat Riley (2012), Lenny Wilkens (2011), Jack Ramsay and Tex Winter (2010), and Tommy Heinsohn (2009).

"Both Chuck and Rudy are guys that were beloved, unconditionally respected within the coaching profession and guys that were able to get the very, very best out of a wide range of different kind of players," said Carlisle, the longtime NBCA president and coach of the Indiana Pacers. "They were so great, made so many people feel special and made the players that they coached feel special."

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