Doc Rivers lands as lead NBA analyst for ABC Sports

Updated: November 21, 2003, 1:38 PM ET

NEW YORK - Fired just three days ago as coach of the Orlando Magic, Doc Rivers was hired as lead NBA analyst for ABC Sports on Friday.

ABC announced that Rivers will work a select number of regular-season and playoff games, as well as the NBA Finals. He will debut Christmas Day alongside play-by-play voice Al Michaels when the Houston Rockets visit the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rivers will work with Michaels and Brad Nessler throughout the season, according to Michael Pearl, the senior vice president and executive producer of ABC Sports.

"Doc is abolutely the right fit for our NBA broadcasts," Pearl said. "He brings the experience of being a game analyst and former player and coach, and his style is fresh and opinionated."

After ending his playig career in July 1996, Rivers spent three years with Turner Sports' coverage of the NBA.

Rivers became available Tuesday, when he was fired in the midst of his fifth season as coach and the Magic's longest losing streak in more than a decade, a 10-game skid. He was replaced by assistant Johnny Davis.

The 42-year-old Rivers guided the Magic to a 41-41 record in his first season and was named Coach of the Year after the team missed the playoffs by one game.

Orlando made the playoffs each of the next three seasons, but lost in the first round each time. In May, the Magic blew a 3-1 lead to the top-seeded Detroit Pistons in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Rivers also appeared to have lost the support of Tracy McGrady, the 2002-03 scoring champion.

In 13 NBA seasons, Rivers averaged 10.9 points and 5.7 assists.

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