Lakers Announce Coaching Change
EL SEGUNDO, Feb. 2 -- Rudy Tomjanovich and the Los Angeles Lakers have mutually agreed that Tomjanovich will step down as head coach of the team, it was announced Wednesday. He will remain with the organization as a consultant.
“We are very sorry that Rudy’s stay as the Lakers coach was so short,” said Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss. “We respect Rudy’s concerns for his health, which is of course the paramount issue. While he won’t be our coach, I’m very pleased that we will be able to continue our relationship and that he’ll be contributing to our success in a different, but still important capacity.”
Lakers assistant coach Frank Hamblen, who has filled in as head coach for the Lakers past two games, will continue to serve as the team’s head coach.
Tomjanovich, who was named the 16th head coach in Los Angeles Lakers history on July 10, 2004, compiled a record of 24-19 during his coaching stint.
Prior to his head coaching job with the Lakers, Tomjanovich spent the previous 34 seasons with the Houston Rockets serving as player, coach and most recently as a personnel consultant during the 2003-04 season. Prior to his role as consultant, Tomjanovich spent twelve seasons as the team’s head coach where he guided them to two division titles and two NBA Championships in 1994 and 1995.
In twelve seasons as head coach of the Rockets, Tomjanovich posted a 503-397 (.559) regular season record and a 51-39 (.567) playoff record. His career wins and winning percentage are Rockets franchise records. In his first complete season (1992-93) as the Rockets head coach Tomjanovich guided his team to a division title, making him the first head coach to ever take his team from the lottery to a division title during his first full season. In the ensuing year Tomjanovich led the team to its first NBA Championship. He repeated this feat again the following season earning back-to-back championships for the first time in the club’s history. Alongside his role as coach of the Rockets, Tomjanovich also served as coach for the United States Senior National Team on two occasions. During the 2000 Summer Olympics, Tomjanovich guided the team to a gold medal while posting an undefeated record in Sydney. Prior to the Olympics, Tomjanovich also coached a group of non-NBA players to a bronze medal in the 1988 World Championship of Basketball.
While serving as the Rockets head coach Tomjanovich received numerous accolades including being named head coach of the Western Conference team for the 1997 NBA All-Star Game. He also earned The Sporting News NBA Coach of the Year Award in 1993 and was named NBA Coach of the Month on several occasions.
TOMJANOVICH’S COACHING RECORD YEAR TEAM RECORD PCT. PLAYOFFS PCT. PLAYOFF RESULT 1991-92 HOUSTON 16-14 .533 --- --- Did not qualify 1992-93 HOUSTON 55-27 .671 6-6 .500 Lost in 2nd round 1993-94 HOUSTON 58-24 .707 15-8 .652 Won NBA Championship 1994-95 HOUSTON 47-35 .573 15-7 .682 Won NBA Championship 1995-96 HOUSTON 48-34 .585 3-5 .375 Lost in 2nd round 1996-97 HOUSTON 57-25 .695 9-7 .563 Lost in Conference Finals 1997-98 HOUSTON 41-41 .500 2-3 .400 Lost in first round 1998-99 HOUSTON 31-19 .620 1-3 .250 Lost in first round 1999-00 HOUSTON 34-48 .415 --- --- Did not qualify 2000-01 HOUSTON 45-37 .549 --- --- Did not qualify 2001-02 HOUSTON 28-54 .341 --- --- Did not qualify 2002-03 HOUSTON 43-39 .524 --- --- Did not qualify 2004-05 LAKERS 24-19 .558 --- --- --- TOTALS 527-416 .559 51-39 .567