Bucks name Terry Porter coach

Updated: August 6, 2003, 6:32 PM ET

MILWAUKEE - Terry Porter has come home. He thinks he can take the Milwaukee Bucks to the playoffs.

Porter was introduced Wednesday as the new coach of the Bucks, who barely made the playoffs last season and appear to be in a rebuilding mode.

A Milwaukee native who starred collegiately at Wisconsin-Stevens Point before playing 17 years in the NBA, Porter got the job despite having just one year of coaching experience. He spent last season as an assistant to Rick Adelman on the Sacramento Kings.

Porter, 40, was hired after interviewing twice with Bucks general manager Larry Harris. He replaces George Karl, who was fired July 20 after guiding the Bucks to four postseason appearances in five years.

"We have a good mix of players," Porter said at a news conference at the Bradley Center. "We have youth and we have experience. ... We have a playoff-caliber team."

Last season, the Bucks finished seventh in the East with a 42-40 record, losing to New Jersey in six games in the first round. But the team has undergone major changes since.

Owner Herb Kohl was set to sell the team to a group that included Michael Jordan, then abruptly took the team off the market. General manager Ernie Grunfeld left to take a similar position with the Washington Wizards. Point guard Sam Cassell was traded to Minnesota. Star guard Gary Payton left via free agency. And Karl was fired.

For his first coaching job, Porter is left with a squad that includes improving young players Michael Redd, Desmond Mason and Tim Thomas and veterans Anthony Mason and Toni Kukoc.

He would like to dictate tempo at both ends of the floor and likely will serve as a mentor to point guard T.J. Ford, Milwaukee's first-round pick.

"I've been around a lot of great defensive coaches and I'm going to demand a lot from my players," Porter said. "I think our style will be one of up-tempo ... and attack the basket before the defense can set up 5-on-5."

Porter is the eighth coach in team history but the first black coach. He is one of 12 black coaches in the NBA.

"I don't feel any pressure," he said. "I feel proud that I've been given the opportunity."

Terms were not disclosed. Karl was the highest-paid coach in team sports and still is owed more than $7 million by the Bucks.

Porter was selected by Portland in the first round of the 1985 draft and served as the Trail Blazers' point guard for 10 seasons, helping them reach two NBA Finals. He also played with Minnesota, Miami and San Antonio before retiring last summer.

Under Karl, the Bucks nearly reached the NBA Finals two years ago but missed the postseason in 2002.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index