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BUCKS TAB KARL AS NEW HEAD COACH

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed former Seattle SuperSonics coach George Karl to a four-year deal to replace Chris Ford, who was fired last week.

Seattle fired Karl, 47, earlier this year after the Sonics again failed to reach the NBA finals. He was 384-150 in his 6 1/2 years coaching the Sonics.

Over the past six seasons, Seattle won more games than any NBA team except the Chicago Bulls. Still, owner Barry Ackerley was disappointed by his team's lack of playoff success despite a trip to the NBA Finals in 1996.

Karl has strained relations with Ackerley and Sonics general manager Wally Walker, and the team cited its inability to trust Karl with sensitive information when announcing that he would not return.

Paul Westphal has been named Karl's replacement in Seattle.

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