Rivers is 16th head coach of Celtics

BOSTON -- Doc Rivers is leaving TV to coach the Boston

The former NBA player and coach was introduced by Celtics head
of basketball operations Danny Ainge at a news conference Thursday

"Danny Ainge called me and asked me to coach the Boston
Celtics," said Rivers, who is the 16th head coach in the history
of the storied franchise. "If you like basketball I don't know how
you could say no to that."

Earlier this week, Ainge said he was in no hurry to hire a new

"This is the guy that we wanted to be our head coach," Ainge
said. "That's why the search was so fast and short."

Rivers was fired by the Orlando Magic in November after a 1-10
start to the season. He was immediately hired by ABC Sports to work
on NBA telecasts.

He went 171-168 in five seasons with Orlando, earning NBA Coach
of the Year honors in 2000 for leading the Magic to a 41-41 record
with four undrafted starters.

Rivers played 13 seasons for the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles
Clippers, New York Knicks and San Antonio Spurs before retiring in
1996 to become a TV analyst for Turner Sports.

The Celtics dismissed interim coach John Carroll on Monday, one
day after the Celtics were swept out of the first round of the
playoffs by the Indiana Pacers.

Carroll guided Boston to a 14-22 record and a playoff berth
after taking over for Jim O'Brien, who resigned at midseason over
disagreements with director of basketball operations Danny Ainge
about the direction of the team.

Rivers will keep his TV job through the NBA Finals, ABC said.