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Tomjanovich resigns after only half season



Published: Thu, February 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



He said he'll never coach again.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- The stress of coaching the Los Angeles Lakers wore Rudy Tomjanovich down to the point where he needed medication just to get by.

When that didn't work, he realized something had to change.

So, Tomjanovich resigned Wednesday, his tenure as coach of the Lakers lasting barely half a season.

"I think this is the best decision for me and the Lakers," a subdued Tomjanovich said at a news conference. "A month ago, I became conscious of not feeling good. As the time went by, I started to feel my resistance going down. I went from this energetic, pumped-up guy to all of a sudden being sapped of a lot of energy.

"I hadn't been on antibiotics for a couple of years, or at least a year, and already here, because of my resistance being low, I was on it consistently, you know, with infections. And it just seemed like I just got deeper and deeper into not feeling good."

Disappointed, but not ashamed

Tomjanovich, 56, said he'll never coach again.

"That's clear in my mind -- absolutely not," he said.

He said he felt disappointed, but not ashamed.

"I couldn't shut it off when I was away from the arena," Tomjanovich said. "Why this happened now and why my body couldn't take it now, I do not have the answer. I've been through a heck of a lot more."

Like the life-threatening punch he took from Kermit Washington as a player in 1977; his battle with alcoholism, and dealing with bladder cancer less than two years ago.

Tomjanovich survived all that, but decided coaching at this time was too much for him.

"I know I did become consumed and maybe -- I can't remember exactly how I was before -- but I'd go for a walk and think that was an outlet," he said. "But all I thought about was basketball while I was walking."




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