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Van Gundy named Rudy Tomjanovic Award winner

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Stan Van Gundy was named the Rudy Tomjanovich Award winner on Friday.

Stan Van Gundy didn’t have the success he had hoped this season, with the Pistons finishing 37-45 and missing the playoffs after a surprising trip to the postseason last year.

But Van Gundy was recognized for his contributions to the media and coaching excellence, as he was named the winner of the 2016-17 Rudy Tomjanovic Award, presented by the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

Van Gundy was voted the winner by a panel of PBWA members, which includes 205 writers and editors who regularly cover the NBA.

“While his team failed to reach the playoffs, the 57-year-old was a champion when dealing with the media,” the PBWA wrote in a statement. “Van Gundy is generous with his time, is candid during his media sessions and speaks his mind.”

Multi-skilled guards Kennard, Mitchell catch Pistons' eye

The other finalists for the award included Steve Clifford (Charlotte Hornets), Mike D’Antoni (Houston Rockets), David Fizdale (Memphis Grizzlies) and Brad Stevens (Boston Celtics).

The award is named for Rudy Tomjanovich, the former Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers coach was regarded for his professional conduct with the media. Tomjanovic coached the Rockets to back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995.

Past 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

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard