posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 06:15 AM
HOUSTON(AP) - The Los Angeles Lakers contacted former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich about replacing Phil Jackson as their coach, a Houston
television station and newspaper reported Saturday.
Tomjanovich issued a statement confirming that he would look into the position, Houston television station KRIV and The Houston Chronicle reported.
"I have been contacted and I am interested in discussing things with the Lakers and hearing what they have to say,"
Tomjanovich said in the
Jackson decided not to return as Los Angeles coach on Friday, just days after the heavily favored Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA
Jackson coached the Lakers to three straight championships in five seasons.
Rockets general manager Carroll Dawson told KRIV that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak called him Friday to ask for permission to talk to
Tomjanovich, who is still under contract to the club, and the organization granted it.
Tomjanovich, 55, resigned as Rockets coach a year ago to treat bladder cancer. With treatments successful, he had planned to sit out at least two full
seasons before considering a return to coaching. Tomjanovich worked as a scout for the team last season.
Lakers spokesman John Black declined to comment on the team's search for a new coach.