DETROIT – The name Darko Milicic doesn't bring up any pleasant memories for Detroit Pistons fans.
The Pistons selected Darko with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft - a draft that included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony.
Darko Milicic never panned out for the Pistons. Some blamed head coach Larry Brown, for not using him enough. Some blamed Darko, for not trying hard enough.
Darko spoke about the problems he had in Detroit and as a professional athlete. Here's what he said, via Yahoo Sports:
“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."
“So yeah, I was the problem. That initial dissatisfaction probably led to me starting to hate and not enjoy playing. 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 US was just wrong. I could say I was too young back then, but I chose to go there myself and I obviously wasn’t prepared for what the league would require from me.”
Darko only lasted three seasons in Detroit, averaging just 1.6 points epr game with the Pistons.