Storyline: Whatever Happened to Darko Milicic

19 rumors in this storyline

Darko Milicic will be back into action next season in the Second Division of the Serbian league, as basketballsphere.com reports. Milicic, now 34, stopped playing in 2012, after a short run with the Boston Celtics in the NBA, but as it seems his retirement wasn’t definite just yet! The team “I came to play” started as a project featuring former national team players and aims to assist the city of Novi Sad and the American Embassy.

More Rumors in this Storyline

2 years ago via ESPN

“You know, I once wrote a story about Frederic Weis,” I say, bringing up another basketball catastrophe from Europe — this one French instead of Serbian — who was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1999 but never played a game for them. Darko’s face perks up. He remembers Weis. “What was he like?” “He was sad and depressed,” I say. “He had a lot of other issues going on, too, with his wife and his son, but he still seemed pretty angry about how everything turned out and he was angry at life, and I guess it was under-the-surface angry, but angry.” I’m babbling. “Actually, Weis tried to kill himself once,” I blurt out. Darko doesn’t flinch. “Really?” “Yeah.”
2 years ago via ESPN

The worst was in Memphis. Darko’s wife, Zorana, who was living with him then, calls that his “crisis period.” The team was losing. Darko was infuriated. And the walls in that apartment looked like cottage cheese, a mess of bubbly bumps and curds. The sequence was familiar: He would come in, hammer on the walls and go to sleep. In most cities, he came to know the local contractors who could run over, throw some putty up and do a quick cover-up job with whatever paint they had handy. “You know you have exactly white, and then the other white, and then gray?” Darko says of his patchy walls. “That was my house.”
2 years ago via ESPN

But Rivers liked Darko, liked having him in practice. So he welcomed Darko into his office and listened as Darko told him he had come to say goodbye. “In the center position, if something goes bad for the team, you have [Jason] Collins, you have [Fab] Melo,” Darko said. “So I’m packed and going home.” Darko recalls Rivers being stunned. “Darko, what are you talking about? Where are you going? You are going to play tonight.” Darko was unbowed. “Doc, that’s it. I’m not playing tonight, I’m not playing ever again. “Thank you guys for trying. It didn’t go well. I’m out.”

“My approach was completely different, as a No. 2 pick coming from Europe. I thought I was sent by God. So I got into fights, got drunk before practices, spiting everyone, while in the end I was spiting myself.” Milicic, drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, averaged 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 96 games with the Pistons. He went on to play seven more seasons in the NBA, with stops in Orlando, Memphis, New York, Minnesota and Minnesota.

Darko’s here again. He conducted an interview with Serbian news website B92.net, portions of which were translated by the fine folks at r/NBA, and he sounded like a man more comfortable in his skin. Milicic discussed each of his NBA stops with the sort of honesty you’d expect from the 7-foot Serbian. “I’d do a lot of things differently now. It’s true I ended up on a team trying to win a ring, which rarely happens to a No. 2 pick, but in the end we’re all looking for excuses. I could say I didn’t get a proper chance, but that’s simply an excuse; it’s up to a young player to prove himself, work hard and wait for his chance. My approach was completely different. As a No. 2 pick coming from Europe, I thought I was sent by God, so I got into fights, got drunk before practices, spiting everyone, but I was spiting myself.

How is Darko doing now? Inquiring minds would sure like to know. “I’ve gained 90 pounds since I stopped playing,” he said. “I’m at 350 right now. I’m working at my farm and enjoying that kind of production. I take walks through my fields and watch the process, which makes me really happy. I’m still pretty inexperienced at this, so I like to learn, seek guidance, go to seminars. I’ve created my own peace of mind, and I’m enjoying it. There are always problems like in any other field of work, but I’d rather do this than build skyscrapers in the city, because I’d end up shooting myself. I think this is the most positive story of them all – food production and food in general is the future in every sense.”

“I met with [then-Wolves GM] David Kahn and told him: ‘Don’t trade for me for the love of God. I don’t want to play in the NBA anymore. I’ll ruin your team. I’ll f*** up the team chemistry. Do not trade for me. When it’s not working it’s not working.’ He told me to join them for two weeks, and if I’m not feeling it I’m free to leave. My first year there actually went great. “My experience in the NBA was a catastrophe, because I’m a born winner. I don’t like losing, even in card games.
4 years ago via Blic

Darko Milicic: “Their system is cruel and I don’t like it. If a young player doesn’t succeed, they don’t look after him. That sucks. You have players who are first or second in the draft that get a chance to play. I didnt get the chance. LBJ is a killer now, but he did get a chance in his first year, he could shoot from the stands if he wanted. I barely got the chance. I had that situation in Orlando where if I shoot from perimeter, my coach Hill would yell, “Pass to Howard.” In Detroit nothing went right. Larry Brown always told me to go near the basket. They offered me a $40 million, four-year contract in Orlando, and then their manager blows it off, out of nowehere. My manager told me he would deal with it. I said OK, but just not Memphis. Anywhere but there. And, of course, I went to Memphis. Then I got injured, didn’t play much.
4 years ago via Blic

Darko Milicic: “I wanted to go back to Europe but then the Minnesota offer came. I tried to talk them out of of signing me, I said I won’t practice, I will make trouble in the locker room but they were persistent. They told me give it two weeks, if it doesn’t work you can go. I accepted, it was nice and I played but we didn’t win. Rambis was fired and after Adelman came I realized it’s not gonna work. Pekovic started playing well, and I thought, “Never mind, I’ll come off the bench.” But it just didn’t work. And then I just quit.

Former NBA center Darko Milicic, a 7-foot Serb who spent 10 years with various teams after being the second overall pick in the 2003 draft behind LeBron James, has lost his first kickboxing fight. The 29-year-old Milicic sustained a bloody cut on his left leg in the first round of an exhibition match Thursday night against Serbian fighter Radovan Radojcic. The World Kickboxing Association bout had to be stopped in the second round on doctor’s orders. “The next time, it will be better,” Milicic said. “I’m invincible.”
More HoopsHype Rumors
December 13, 2019 | 8:27 pm UTC Update
Logan Murdock: Steve Kerr reasoned that Draymond Green earned the right to have rest days because he’s played five straight seasons into the Finals. So I asked if the same logic applies to him as a coach. His response: “The coach does not receive the same treatment unfortunately.” pic.twitter.com/I7y1sl7dpw
Storyline: Load Management
December 13, 2019 | 6:54 pm UTC Update
December 13, 2019 | 6:32 pm UTC Update
December 13, 2019 | 5:28 pm UTC Update
“Yeah, and it comes back to I think that we had the right leadership,” Van Gundy told Krzyzewski. “(Former team president) Dave Checketts, who I’m sure you know. Great leader. And then we had unfortunately, at the end of my time there, we had a dilution of talent with the Knicks and it happened rapidly due to some just age, some injury. Patrick Ewing, one of the greatest all-time players, aged and got traded. Larry Johnson, a legendary UNLV player but just a terrific teammate and someone to coach who set an example every day, back injury. Then they traded for [Antonio] McDyess, he had a knee injury. Allan Houston had a knee injury. These are career-changing type of injuries.”
Van Gundy says that whatever direction the Knicks go in next, the key will be patience, as the team must give whoever is brought in the chance to grow as a leader. “It’s been constant change and unfortunately that amount of change has led to an inconsistency of philosophy, of belief, and I just think they have to settle and give whoever they pick next the opportunity to grow and evolve,” Van Gundy said. “So many of these projects where you’re trying to turn a franchise around, they’re submarined because of a lack of patience. Everybody says, ‘We’re all in to the rebuild,’ and ‘We’re going to be patient,’ and then halfway through they lose the stomach for it and think change is the answer.”
December 13, 2019 | 4:14 pm UTC Update
Joel Embiid declared Thursday morning that Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal were right: He needed to start looking to dominate games. He didn’t waste time taking their advice to heart. In a spectacular performance at TD Garden on Thursday night, Embiid had 38 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists and a monstrous block of Daniel Theis in the final seconds, propelling his Philadelphia 76ers to a 115-109 victory over the Boston Celtics.
“I actually called Shaq yesterday,” Embiid said. “He thought I was mad at him. I was like, ‘No, I understand what he was saying.’ “I’ve had a bad year so far. I’ve been kinda frustrated, just because you’re not seeing the teamwork and you try to fit in with your new teammates. Just be aggressive … just go out there and just dominate. “Whatever they said, I think it was good for me.”
Almost nobody behind “Uncut Gems,” the Adam Sandler/Kevin Garnett drama steeped in NBA lore that opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles (and nationwide on Christmas), wanted the movie to have anything to do with Garnett and the Boston Celtics — unless it somehow involved the Celtics’ humiliation. Josh and Benny Safdie, the writer-director brothers, are diehard fans of the New York Knicks — which naturally means they hate the Celtics. “I hated Boston,” Josh Safdie told ESPN this week. “I hated KG.”
They moved on to Joel Embiid, but working around the schedule of an active player proved impossible. The studio gave them a list of retired players. They met with a few, including Chris Bosh, Josh Safdie said. Garnett’s name was on the list, too. They cringed. They agreed to meet with Garnett anyway. Garnett’s representatives told them they would have an hour. The meeting lasted three hours. Garnett regaled them with stories. He was different in person than he was on television and in media interviews.
“Acting is preparation, just like anything else,” Garnett told the group in New York. “I didn’t want to fail them. They took a risk on me. When I showed up to set, I was ready. It took me back to, ‘OK, it’s Rasheed Wallace tonight. It’s Tim Duncan tonight’ — watching film. I took those same things coming in here.” “He took his lines very seriously,” Josh Safdie told ESPN. “He added a lot of flair, too. He improvised a bit, but he stuck mostly to the script.”
December 13, 2019 | 2:06 pm UTC Update
As Carmelo Anthony’s basketball journey wandered beyond the bright lights of New York City, the 35-year-old forward said he would’ve been okay rejoining the Denver Nuggets. “I was open to it,” a reflective Anthony said Thursday of his options over the past few years. “We talked about it. People in my circle were like, ‘Go back to Denver.’ If it was that easy I probably would’ve done it. A lot of things came into play when it comes to that, kind of out of my control at that time, the timing was off. Similar to Portland, the timing has always just been off. All of the sudden that window of opportunity was there.”
After missing the FIBA Basketball World Cup due to a knee injury, Nicolò Melli is ready to return to wear Italy’s National Team jersey in next June’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Melli is now playing in the NBA with the New Orleans Pelicans. “I confirmed to the Federation my availability for the OQT. It will depend on my physical conditions. I have missed summers with Italy only when I was injured. I gave my availability. It will depend on my body” Melli said, as reported by Backdoor Podcast.
December 13, 2019 | 9:23 am UTC Update

Jeff Teague still available?

As well as Teague has played from a scoring standpoint of late, it is no secret that his fit with a system that is predicated on ball movement and shooting open 3s is problematic. The Timberwolves made it known throughout the league last summer that Teague was available for trade and that remains the case right now, league sources said.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 92 more rumors

Chris Paul staying put?

After polling executives, the league-wide sense is that Paul will remain with the Thunder this season simply because of his enormous contract. While it’s theoretically possible that Paul could agree to turn down his $44 million player option for 2021-22 to grease the wheels on a potential trade, right now, that is the longest of long shots. Besides overcoming the idea of giving up 44 million buckaroos, Paul is also the president of the players’ union and it would be a bad look to set that precedent of turning down that amount of money to make it more palatable to a team.
As it stands now, the Heat aren’t expected to make a run at Paul, per multiple sources. They like their locker room chemistry and aren’t actively looking to shake it up. More importantly, Paul’s contract complicates Miami’s potential future. Paul will be 35 years old in May and is due $41.4 million next season and will be 37 when he’s due $44.2 million. A glamour market like Miami doesn’t need to make trades to acquire a star. Smaller markets like Utah, Charlotte and Portland do.
The belief across the league this summer was that Wiggins could be had for the right offer. Rosas did not acquire him in trade and did not sign him to the max contract extension. But the two have formed a strong relationship in the early going and Wiggins has also responded well to Saunders’ coaching when it comes to changing his shot profile. There is no indication that the team is looking to trade Wiggins right now. The team has been both privately and publicly encouraged by Wiggins’ willingness to embrace this new approach and the results that have come with it. Saunders is firmly in his corner and Rosas has forged a strong working relationship with him.
Storyline: Andrew Wiggins Trade?
It is difficult for Boston to cobble together enough salary to add a major piece without including one of its core players. Boston does have Daniel Theis ($5M), Enes Kanter ($4.8M), all its own first-rounders and additional picks from Milwaukee and Memphis, but that’s not enough money to target a player like the Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge or the Cavaliers’ Kevin Love — unless Boston is willing to put Marcus Smart or Gordon Hayward in a deal, which is unlikely to happen.
Sunday, of course, is the first day players who were acquired in the offseason are eligible to be traded, even though Neil Olshey, the team’s top executive, said this week there is nothing brewing. That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from heating up, which has included one report saying Kevin Love would prefer a trade to Portland. That rumor apparently reached the eyes and ears of Whiteside, who during Tuesday’s game against New York was shouting during play to Anthony that “Kevin Love doesn’t rebound like that!” “And Kevin Love doesn’t block shots like that, either,” Whiteside said Thursday when asked about the Tuesday exchange. “The trade talk … it don’t enter my mind a lot. I was more just messing with Melo. I’m not thinking about it. If we are struggling on defense and you want to (trade him), I mean, good luck. Good luck with that.”
Storyline: Hassan Whiteside Trade?