The man chosen to succeed Phil Jackson would go on to be succeeded by... uh, Phil Jackson. Well not immediately, of course. Frank Hamblen was called upon for mop up duty after Tomjanovich resigned citing health concerns, but the following year Jackson was back, God was in his heaven and Lakers fan were ready for another dynasty.
Tomjanovich had signed a five-year, $30 million contract over the summer, having won his battle with bladder cancer. He had missed several games with a sinus infection and stomach virus before his formal retirement announcement. The 56-year-old coach was best known for coaching the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles in the mid-1990s.
After Houston swept Shaquille O'Neal and the Orlando Magic to repeat, Tomjanovich said: "Never underestimate the heart of a champion."