Culture / Sporting Life

Houston TV News Legend Surprises Rudy Tomjanovich Before His Basketball Hall of Fame Induction

Dave Ward Makes Rudy T's Appearance Anything But an Ordinary Podast

BY // 05.11.21

Veteran Houston TV news broadcaster Dave Ward asks Rudy Tomjanovich who among the 1994 and 1995 Houston Rockets championship players was best dressed and who failed in sartorial splendor? Which players gave him the toughest time? Those were among other more probing questions that Ward tosses Rudy T’s way during an upcoming Dave Ward & Friends podcast episode.

Since launching his podcast in March, Ward has entertained audiences with congenial conversations with Houston notables, including numerous sports stars. But few can probably surpass this upcoming episode (it drops Thursday at 10 am) when Ward and the champion Houston Rockets coach sat down in advance of Tomjanovich’s induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The big event takes place this weekend at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, with Rudy-T’s Houston teammate and former roommate Calvin Murphy from his playing days and Hakeem Olajuwon, the NBA MVP from his coaching days, presenting Tomjanovich for induction.

Olajuwon, along with former Rockets teammates Clyde Drexler, Mario Ellie, Vernon Maxwell and Matt Bullard surprised Tomjanovich when their faces began popping up on the podcast Zoom call recording. Tomjanovich had thought it was going to be a one-on-one with Ward. Instead, the anticipated conversation turned into a lively toast and roast filled with nostalgia, laughs and plenty of praise for Rudy T.

Among topics on the table was the question of whether the Rockets would have won the championships going against the Chicago Bulls if Michael Jordan hadn’t taken time off to try his hand at baseball. Tomjanovich tells the story of posing that question to Jordan one night when they were having dinner in Phoenix with Charles Barkley and Tiger Woods. (You’ll have to tune in for the answer that had plenty to do with Olajuwon.)

New episodes of the Dave Ward & Friendpodcast, presented in partnership with Sonic Automotive, come out on Thursdays on Apple Podcasts, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, RSS and Stitcher.

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Upcoming programs include oil well control veteran Brian Krause chatting about his career and work with famed Red Adair, airing May 20, and A.J. Foyt on the eve of the 60th anniversary of his first Indy 500 win, airing May 27. The season concludes June 3 with Sonic Automotive president Jeff Dyke chatting with Ward. Season 2 will arrive in the fall.

Previous podcasts have featured Baseball Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell with former Astros GM Larry Dierker, seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, Houston Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini, Grammy Award-winner  Steve Tyrell, and astronaut Scott Kelly and wife Amiko.

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