Wednesday , Feb , 02 , 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 missed his
second straight game Tuesday because of the illness, but has also apparently
considered resigning his position.

ESPN reported earlier in the day that Tomjanovich was set to resign after the
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 in the day that several options are
being considered and resignation is among them, although nothing is definite.

The Lakers posted a 92-79 win over Portland as Frank Hamblen was on the bench
for the victory.

Tomjanovich also missed this past Sunday’s 101-90 victory over Charlotte
because of a stomach virus and Hamblen coached the team against the expansion
Bobcats.

The Lakers are 24-19 this season, but have a new look this year 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 527-416, including 503-397 with the
Rockets.

LAL