Darko Milicic will always be nothing more than a punch line or a great trivia question as the player who was drafted in the 2003 NBA Draft between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
After being drafted No.2 in 2003 by the Detroit Pistons and being expected to be the second coming of Dirk Nowitzki, Millic never came close to the billing and averaged six points and four rebounds per game in parts of 10 seasons while playing for six NBA teams.
He did an interview with the New York Post on Tuesday that included a number of confessions by Darko on the numerous reasons why he never materialized in the NBA, namely his immaturity, attitude and lack of commitment.
Here are a few excerpts from the piece:
“I could say I didn’t get a proper chance. However, that’s simply an alibi,” Milicic told a Serbian news outlet in a recent interview. “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, while in the end, I was spiting myself.”
“I had issues with everyone, and that was caused by me playing just for myself. My goal wasn’t to silence the critics, it was to silence my ego,” Milicic said. “There were some situations where I’ve already scored 20 points, but in my head I’m thinking: ‘When will this game finally end, come on, let’s pack it up and go home.’ I just had to feed my ego, I couldn’t care less what’s going to happen the following week. My whole approach since coming to the United States was just wrong.”
Possibly the most interesting part was him telling former Timberwolves General Manager David Kahn (infamously bad in NBA circles) not to trade for him in 2009.
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) March 14, 2017
Millic now lives back at home in Serbia as a farmer and says he is at peace with his failure as an NBA player.
“I’ve gained 90 pounds since I stopped playing, I’m at 350 right now,” he said. “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.”
Here’s to hoping life after basketball treats Darko well mentally and physically.