Houston Rudy Tomjanovich stepped down as coach to take another job with the Houston Rockets Friday after 12 seasons that included the franchise's two NBA championships.
Tomjanovich, who had cut his season short for treatment of bladder cancer, said he looked forward to resuming a more normal lifestyle.
"Just to be one of the people in this city, being a soldier instead of a general for a while, I look forward to that," Tomjanovich said, choking back tears. "I just think at this stage, with the health situation, that the best thing is to back off and try to be just a regular guy for a while."
Tomjanovich confirmed news reports about his negotiations with owner Les Alexander to take another position despite having two years and $12 million remaining on his contract. He has concluded cancer treatments and will undergo a biopsy next month to see if the tumor is gone.
Tomjanovich, 54, took over as the Rockets' coach midway into the 1991-92 season and compiled a 503-397 record.
The Rockets made Tomjanovich the second selection in the 1970 draft out of Michigan. "Rudy T" averaged 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in 11 seasons. Houston retired his jersey in 1982.