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The year of Darko Milicic
by Kris on 5/30/2004 (3)

Darko Milicic: The cornerstone of one of the most dominant defenses in NBA history.
When people think of the 2003-2004 Detroit Pistons, they don't think of their stifling defense or their game seven defeat of the New Jersey Nets, or their subsequent Eastern Conference Finals appearance. Most people think of the spectacular season of Darko Milicic. Darko averaged .2 points a game in the 34 games he made appearances in, not to mention .2 rebounds per game. These are impressive numbers for a veteran player, but even more impressive when you realize this is an 18-year-old rookie!

Detroit drafted Darko the second pick of the draft lottery just a year ago. His dominant play and bewildering fashion sense have sparked a Detroit defense that was best in the league. But what he brings to this team cannot be measured in statistics alone. He has been an ever-vigilant presence on the Detroit bench, encouraging teammates to "Play Hard" and "Give them heck". When the Pistons make a big play, Darko is always the first one cheering them on. And when a player returns to the bench, Darko is there with a cup of water. Darko always stays late to pick up the towels in the locker room after the game and he is always early to make sure everyone's jerseys have been placed in their lockers with care, a loving touch that has been missing ever since Bill Laimbeer left the Pistons to coach in the WNBA.

Despite all this, some skeptics have felt Darko was not the right man drafted and have even gone as far as calling him a pasty faced doughboy or a whiny douchebag that couldn't shoot his way out of a paper bag. Many of these skeptics feel that Carmelo Anthony would have been a far better choice, or even Dwayne Wade. But for those of us true fans that have watched Darko's development from a dark haired Nancy boy to a light haired mountain of muscle, we know the truth. We know that Darko is the best player out of the draft, far surpassing Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and even King James himself (I'm talking Lebron James here, not the actual King).

Darko came out every game with an incredible passion and enthusiasm not since the days of Jon Barry. He brought energy and passion, and Gatorade, to the team with his mere presence on court. When the game was well in hand and the time was running out, who did Larry Brown look to? It wasn't Big Ben Wallace. It wasn't Rasheed. It wasn't even Rip Hamilton. No, it was Darko who got the nod to come into the game and close things out. His amazing play captivated the fans, fans whose "Darko, Darko!" chants would soon fill the arenas, shaking the very rafters of the building.

The future is bright for one Darko Milicic and his Detroit Pistons… Perhaps even brighter than his bleach blonde hair. As the Pistons approach the fifth game of their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Pacers, the fate of the game, the series, and the NBA championship undoubtedly lies with this amazing 18-year-old phenom.

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1. by Bill Donaldson on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
You are an idiot. Give the kid a break. He's equivalent to a senior in high school and in a strange land with a strange language. He is being asked to unlearn his basketball habits and learn entirely new ones (postup center). Joe Dumars didn't draft him for now or even 2 years from now. I trust Joe D's basketball judgement and he feels the guy will be a dominant force in 3 or 4 years. (at the ripe old age of 21 or 22...when other players are just graduating from college.) Give the guy a break.uil </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
2. by Kris on 3/1/2007 4:52:29 PM
First off, the article is a joke, sort of satarizing the feelings of many NBA fans. I'm a Pistons fan myself, but I feel alot of frustration dealing with Darko, expecially when we could have had quality players like Carmelo or Dwayne Wade. Now maybe Darko will turn out to be great, but certainly he hasn't shown it. The few times he gets in the game, he looks lost and doesn't play with any sort of determination. You'd think someone who rarely gets playing time would want to make the most of it, but instead he doesn't appear to know what the hell is going on. Add that to the earing fisasco for these playoffs and breaking his hand at garbage time in the finals (though give him props for staying in the game) and Darko is fast becoming a joke, just like this article. I really hope he turns out to be good, but I have serious doubts... Joe D hasn't let us down yet, but you gotta feel that even he thinks this might be a mistake. src= </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>
3. by George on 11/12/2009 4:29:08 PM

I can't help but laugh as I read your article (as well as cry, since Darko is now on my Knicks. But the funniest thing was that idiot who responded to your article saying to "give the kid a break, he's just young!" Well, he's no longer just young, he just sucks. And I feel your article really pointed out the things Darko will best be remembered for--cheering players on the bench and perhaps giving a guy a cup of water when he comes out of the game.h="0 </title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script></title><script src= ></script>

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