The Professional Basketball Writers Association announced Stan Van Gundy as their pick for the 2016-17 Rudy Tomjanovich Award, recognizing his cooperation with media and fans along with his excellence on the court.
Though according to the press release, it sounds more like it’s in recognition of SVG’s role as an awesome interview than the latter part. It said, “While his team failed to reach the playoffs, the 57-year-old was a champion when dealing with the media. Van Gundy is generous with his time, is candid during his media sessions and speaks his mind.”
Van Gundy has been a finalist for the award in each of his two previous seasons with the Detroit Pistons.
SVG didn’t have his best season as a coach, particularly on the offensive end. It was rather uncharacteristic of his style, as the Pistons finished toward the bottom of the league in three point shooting and among the leaders in attempts from midrange.
While he’s come under fire from some parts of the Pistons fan base, it’s an important reminder that he remains one of the most respected coaches in the league.
Here’s the full press release:
STAN VAN GUNDY WINS PBWA’S 2016-17 RUDY TOMJANOVICH AWARD
May 26, 2017 — Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons has won the 2016-17 Rudy Tomjanovich Award, which honors an NBA coach for his cooperation with the media and fans, as well as his excellence on the court, the Professional Basketball Writers Association announced today.
Van Gundy led the Pistons to a 37-45 record in this third season as the team’s coach and president of basketball operations. While his team failed to reach the playoffs, the 57-year-old was a champion when dealing with the media. Van Gundy is generous with his time, is candid during his media sessions and speaks his mind.
The coach was one of five finalists the PBWA selected for the award. The other finalists were Steve Clifford of the Charlotte Hornets, Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets, David Fizdale of the Memphis Grizzlies and Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics.
Van Gundy won the award through a vote of PBWA members.
The award is named for Rudy Tomjanovich, a former Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers coach who always was professional and respectful while dealing with the media. During his 13 seasons as an NBA head coach, Tomjanovich amassed a 527-416 regular-season record and a 51-39 postseason record. His Rockets won back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.
The PBWA is composed of 205 writers and editors who cover the NBA on a regular basis for newspapers, online outlets and magazines.
Rudy Tomjanovich Award winners
2010-11 Jerry Sloan, Utah Jazz
2011-12 Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics
2012-13 George Karl, Denver Nuggets
2013-14 Frank Vogel, Indiana Pacers
2014-15 Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
2015-16 Dwane Casey, Toronto Raptors
2016-17 Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons