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What's up Doc?

Doc Rivers signs 4-year, $8 million deal to coach Magic

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Posted: Monday June 07, 1999 11:47 PM

  There's a Doc in the house: The Orlando Magic hope Doc Rivers will improve the team after this year's early exit from the playoffs. CNN/SI

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Doc Rivers was hired as coach of the Orlando Magic Monday, succeeding Chuck Daly and taking over a team that was upset in the first round of the playoffs.

He signed a four-year guaranteed contract worth about $8 million.

Although Rivers has no previous coaching experience, he played for some of the league's best -- Pat Riley, Larry Brown and Mike Fratello.

"He has demonstrated over the course of his career to be a true leader and has been preparing for this day for some time," Orlando general manager John Gabriel said. "He has a very magnetic personality and a sharp basketball mind. He is an outstanding fit for our organization."

Rivers, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, has spent the last three years as a television analyst for Turner Sports.

"A lot people ask why. They say: 'You're doing TV. You have five and 10 seconds to second-guess everyone. If you go to the other side, that's going to change ... It's a big risk,'" River said.

"My answer is I'm a risk taker. My answer is this is what I want to be. This is what I want to do. And who cares about the risk. Look at the reward if things pay off. I don't really worry about risks. I tend to look at how I can be successful."

The Magic tied for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference this season with a 33-17 mark, then lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Philadelphia in four games.

Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly retired on May 24, saying he was weary of the travel.

Rivers, 37, becomes the second-youngest coach in the league behind New York's Jeff Gundy, who's also 37. He plans to hire a veteran as his top assistant and reportedly is considering three former NBA coaches, Dave Wohl, Jim Cleamons and Johnny Davis.

Rivers played for the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs before retiring in 1996.

He averaged 10.9 points, 5.7 assists and three rebounds a game as a player and his teams made the playoffs 10 times. He played for the first eight years of his career in Atlanta, was an All-Star in 1988 and is the Hawks' career leader in assists.

Related information
Doc Rivers to be named Magic coach
Incredible Iverson effort sends Magic home early
Doc Rivers says he's a risk taker. (257 K)
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