Orlando Magic fire coach Doc Rivers
Orlando Magic Chief Operating Officer John Weisbrod announced tonight that Doc Rivers has been dismissed from his position as head coach of the Orlando Magic. Johnny Davis has been named head coach, effective immediately. In addition, the Magic have released assistant coach Dave Wohl.
“We work in a bottom line business,” said Weisbrod. “After a 1-10 start, it is our responsibility to do everything possible to create the best opportunity for success. We are thankful to Doc and are certain he will use this first experience on the bench to become a successful head coach.
“Johnny is an experienced leader,” added Weisbrod. “He is a solid teacher and prides himself on developing talent. We want to give him the opportunity to provide the new voice and direction that our team needs.”
Added General Manager John Gabriel, “With this move there is no less work or responsibility in store for any of us. We will continue to do everything possible to make this team better.”
Rivers, a 13-year NBA veteran as a player, was named the Magic’s head coach on June 7, 1999. He compiled a 171-168 record, while leading the Magic to playoff appearances in each of the last three years. Rivers was named the 1999-2000 NBA Coach of the Year following his first season on the bench.
Davis has spent the past 25 years in the NBA, either in the front office or on the basketball court. He was named assistant coach of the Magic on July 11, 1999 and is in his fifth season in Orlando. Prior to coming to Orlando, Davis served as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets from 1997-1999.
Davis has been an assistant coach in the NBA for 12 years, seeing duty with the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey. He was also head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1996-97 campaign.
Selected in the second round (22nd overall) by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1976 NBA Draft, Davis enjoyed a solid career as a player, spending 10 years in the NBA with Portland, Indiana, Atlanta and Cleveland. He averaged 13.9 ppg. and 4.5 apg., while making 82 percent of his free throws. As a rookie, Davis was an integral part of the Trail Blazers run to the 1977 NBA World Championship.
Davis was an outstanding guard at the University of Dayton, where he was inducted into the school’s Basketball Hall of Fame.