MILWAUKEE Terry Porter, a native of Milwaukee who played 17 seasons in the NBA, has been hired to coach the Bucks, according to a league source.
The Bucks called a news conference for 4 p.m. Wednesday to introduce their new coach. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it will be Porter, who was an assistant with the Sacramento Kings last season.
''It's great news,'' Kings owner Joe Maloof said. ''He deserves it. He works hard.
"Any time one of your assistant coaches has a chance to get a head coaching job, it's a great thing for both franchises. I wish him all the luck in the world, because he deserves it.''
Porter didn't immediately return a phone message, and Bucks general manager Larry Harris, who hasn't spoken publicly since the firing of George Karl on July 20, wasn't available.
Porter and Atlanta Hawks coach Terry Stotts were believed to be the front-runners in a search that included at least eight candidates. Stotts didn't return a phone message Tuesday.
Porter, 40, met last month with Harris and returned over the weekend for a second interview with the team's owner, Sen. Herb Kohl, and vice president of business operations John Steinmiller.
After starring at Milwaukee South Division High School and at Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Porter was hoping to be drafted by the Bucks in 1985, but they bypassed him and he was selected by Portland, leading to a stellar 10-year stint with the Trail Blazers.
After a stellar 10-year stint with the Trail Blazers in which he became the club's career assists leader, Porter played with Minnesota, Miami and San Antonio, where he finished his playing career in 2002.
He served last season on the staff of Kings coach Rick Adelman.
Karl was fired after posting a 205-173 record in five seasons in Milwaukee. The Bucks are paying him $7 million for 2003-04 plus more than $1.5 million for his 1 percent of the team that Kohl gave him two years ago.
Kohl took the Bucks off the market in June after negotiating to sell the club to Michael Jordan. After Ernie Grunfeld was let out of his contract a year early to pursue Washington's general manager job, Harris took over and traded Sam Cassell to Minnesota in June.
That completed the dismantling of the ''Big Three'' Cassell, Glenn Robinson and Ray Allen who guided Milwaukee to the Eastern Conference finals in 2001.
Allen was traded to Seattle for Gary Payton in February, while Robinson was sent to Atlanta for Toni Kukoc last August.
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