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Rivers Opts to Coach the Magic

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Doc Rivers was hired as coach of the Orlando Magic on 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 with the New York Knicks, Larry Brown with the Clippers and Mike Fratello with the Atlanta Hawks.

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

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“A lot people ask why,” he said. “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.’ My answer is I’m a risk taker.”

Daly retired 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, 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.

Besides the Hawks, Clippers, and Knicks, Rivers also played for the San Antonio Spurs before retiring in 1996.

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Dennis Rodman has found a summer job--as a wrestler.

Rodman, who has made a few cameo appearances in the ring over the past couple years, signed with World Championship Wrestling to make at least five appearances this summer.

Rodman will make his debut on “WCW Monday Nitro Live” July 5 on TNT.

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The WNBA announced that four expansion teams will be added for the 2000 season, paired with NBA teams in Seattle, Portland, Miami and Indiana.

The additions will increase the WNBA from 12 to 16 teams. The league moves from 10 to 12 teams this season with new teams in Minnesota and Orlando.

The granting of the four new teams is conditional--each must secure at least 5,500 season ticket pledges before Oct. 15.

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