Robert Horry loved playing for Rudy T.
Robert Horry loved playing for Rudy T. (USATSI)

Robert Horry is seven-time NBA champion. He won two rings with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the San Antonio Spurs. While all three teams had great talent, they also had great coaches in Rudy Tomjanovich, Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich.

Horry was a valued member on all three teams but in a new article for The Players' Tribune, the former NBA player says thats Tomjanovich was the best coach he's every played for - not Jackson or Popovich. 

The polar opposite of that was my relationship with Rudy T. He understood that even though he was the coach, we could see things that he couldn’t see from the bench. We could hear things and feel things on the court that he couldn’t see. First thing T would say was, “What’s going on out there?” He would ask us the plays we would want to run sometimes and get a feel for what we were comfortable with.

If we ran a play and it worked, T would tell us to run it again. Phil not so much. Same with Pop. They are both great in their own right, but based on personal experience, T was the greatest NBA coach. I know he doesn’t have nearly as many championships, but sometimes we give one person too much credit for titles.

Horry doesn't seem to be putting down the coaching abilities of Jackson or Popovich. Instead, he is pointing to his own experience with Tomjanovich and how the former Rockets coach was able to foster a team environment that worked best for Horry. 

Jackson and Popovich have won more championships than Tomjanovich but he was a very successful coach. Tomjanovich coached in Houston for 12 seasons before signing a five-year deal to coach the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004. He took over the Lakers right after Jackson's final year with the team but he resigned 41 games into the season due to mental and physical exhaustion. That may be our last memory of Tomjanovich but it is important to remember that he was not only a successful NBA coach and coached the Rockets to two championships in the mid '90s.

Tomjanovich is often referred to as a player's coach, which is exactly what Horry brings up when talking about his former coach. Sometimes, the little things one does can make a big impact on the life of another. This seems to be what happened between Tomjanovich and Horry.