Tuesday , Feb , 01 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Tomjanovich remains ill; considering resignation

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Los Angeles Lakers head coach Rudy
Tomjanovich continues to be bothered by a stomach virus and will miss his
second straight game Tuesday because of the illness, but has also apparently
considered resigning his position.

ESPN reported that Tomjanovich was set to resign after Tuesday night’s game
against Portland, in part because of health-related issues, although it is not
a recurrence of the bladder cancer that forced him to take a medical leave of
absence as coach of the Houston Rockets during the 2002-03 season.

However, the Lakers said later Tuesday that several options are being
considered and resignation is among them.

Tomjanovich missed this past Sunday’s 101-90 victory over Charlotte because of
a stomach virus. Frank Hamblen, who coached the team against the expansion
Bobcats, will continue to run the team while Tomjanovich recovers.

The Lakers are 23-19 heading into Tuesday’s game against Portland. Los Angeles
has a new look this season without the traded Shaquille O’Neal, and the club
is now playing without star guard Kobe Bryant, who is sidelined with an ankle
injury.

Tomjanovich took over as the 20th coach in franchise history last July,
signing a five-year deal worth a reported $30 million, after Phil Jackson and
the Lakers mutually agreed to part company following the NBA Finals loss to
the Detroit Pistons.

The 55-year-old Tomjanovich was a lifetime Rocket before joining the Lakers.
He played for the Houston franchise, and as coach led the team to consecutive
NBA titles in 1994 and ’95.

In May 2003, Tomjanovich stepped down from the Houston job after 12 years
following his medical leave to treat bladder cancer.

He has a career coaching record of 526-416, including 503-397 with the
Rockets.

LAL