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Bucks fire Porter their coach


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Bucks fire Porter after worst season in nearly a decade

By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer

June 22, 2005

AP - Jun 22, 6:09 pm EDT

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ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks fired head coach Terry Porter on Wednesday, two months after finishing their worst season in almost a decade.

The Bucks have the first pick in next week's NBA draft, and general manager Larry Harris said the team needs to take a new direction.

``Certainly for the direction of this franchise heading forward, we certainly need to make a move,'' Harris said.

Plagued with injuries and a revolving roster, the Bucks went 30-52 last season and failed to make the playoffs in Porter's second year with the team.

The decision came more than a month after the team announced Porter would return for his third season. The Bucks said they would honor the terms of the last year of his contract.

Harris said the team will focus on next week's draft while starting immediately to look for a new coach. He also said he decided Tuesday night after weeks of contemplation to fire Porter, and the decision had nothing to do with the draft.

``We didn't have philosophical differences. He didn't want different guys than I did,'' Harris said.

Instead, Harris said having a coach in the last year of his contract made it difficult to assemble a coaching staff. The team has two assistant spots open.

He said Porter was shocked when he learned of the decision Wednesday afternoon.

``Terry Porter will get another coaching job, there's no doubt about it,'' Harris said.

On Sunday and Monday, Porter attended workouts for prospective No. 1 picks Marvin Williams and Andrew Bogut.

Porter was not available for comment, but thanked Harris and owner Herb Kohl for the coaching opportunity.

``Obviously, I am disappointed by the decision,'' Porter said in a statement.

A Milwaukee native, Porter played for Portland, Minnesota, Miami and San Antonio during a 17-year career that included two trips to the NBA Finals.

Last month when Harris said Porter would return, he said, ``I told him, 'You know we're going to sink or swim together on this.'''

Harris said Wednesday he thought that was the right decision at the time, but ``everybody's allowed to change their mind.''

Harris believes the vacant head coaching job will attract plenty of interest because of the team's young players and No. 1 draft pick.

In addition to the draft, the team's priority is signing star guard Michael Redd, then center Dan Gadzuric and forward Zaza Pachulia this summer.

probably good for Porter -this is not the year to have a number one pick in the draft- no Jordans out there

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That was easily the worst coached team in the NBA this season, no question. Injuries or not, their level of play was just abyssmal.

That said, Milwaukee is a dead-end job right now. Redd, their only star player, will most likely end up in Cleveland since LeBron is riding him hard to come there. And while Bogut is a nice player, he's not a franchise guy. Porter would be better served being an assistant in LA.

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