Good Luck Darko in Orlando

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by DaviaG-Rap, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. DaviaG-Rap

    DaviaG-Rap First Round Draft Pick

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    Sounds like the Orlando trade is as good as done. This sucks. We've had this guy for two and a half years and all we get out of him is a "protected" lottery pick. You know what that means, whatever poor SOB we draft next will have the pleasure of being our next lotto bust.

    Darko got a championship ring, around $12 million dollars, and a great Bball education here. All the fans got from him was disappointment, frustration, and the knowledge that we have to watch him become a great player for another team.

    Horrible trade. We better win the Championship the next 2 years!!!

    Good luck Darko, have a great career!
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    Until the deal is "done and done", it's a little premature to be saying good byes.
  3. Mad Hatter

    Mad Hatter First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    From Pistonloyalist link:
    Ball don't lie! :rip:
  4. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    ESPN says deal almost done

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2331049

    Pistons close to deal that would end Darko experiment

    By Marc Stein
    ESPN.com

    Two things it now appears that these Detroit Pistons won't do: Win 70 games or continue the Darko Milicic experiment.

    NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that the Pistons and Orlando Magic were close to completing a long-discussed trade that would relocate Milicic, 2003's No. 2 overall pick, to central Florida. The trade could be completed as early as Wednesday, sources said, with only one potential snag.

    The sides, according to sources, are bartering over the extent of lottery protection Orlando would have on the first-round pick it has agreed to send Detroit along with center Kelvin Cato for Milicic and guard Carlos Arroyo.

    It's thought Orlando is seeking to retain this year's first-round pick -- and convey its 2007 first-rounder to Detroit instead -- if the Magic's pick winds up in the top seven of the June draft. The deal would collapse if the sides can't come to a resolution -- with Detroit looking to reduce Orlando's level of protection by a few spots -- but it's clear the Pistons have made the decision to move Milicic before the Feb. 23 trading deadline after giving him a chance to earn a rotation spot under new coach Flip Saunders.

    Milicic hasn't played much more for Saunders than he did for Larry Brown, unleashing a new wave of second-guesses on Detroit's decision to draft the Serbian 7-footer over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade ... even though the Pistons won the championship in Darko's rookie season and came within one game of a repeat title last season.

    Yet, even if Milicic had established himself as a rotation regular under Saunders, it's doubtful the Pistons could have afforded to retain him beyond this summer. With Ben Wallace bound for free agency in July and Chauncey Billups expected to seek a lucrative contract extension before becoming a free agent in the summer of 2007, Detroit needs Cato's expiring contract ($8.6 million this season) to create the salary-cap space to re-sign both comfortably and keep together its vaunted starting lineup.

    After Wallace and Billups re-sign, all five Pistons starters will possess contracts averaging at least $10 million per season -- an NBA rarity but a necessity for Pistons president Joe Dumars given the success and relative youth (Ben Wallace and Rasheed Wallace are both 31) of the group.

    While Orlando continues to explore its Steve Francis trade options, this move would give Milicic a chance to play immediately alongside franchise forward Dwight Howard. It might also eventually give the Magic two highly touted but unproven European big men for its frontcourt rotation, with the Magic still hopeful they will have 2005 first-round pick Fran Vazquez (who controversially elected to play in Spain this season) in the near future.
  5. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    For laughs, in case this does happen:


    Milicic not your typical European teen phenom


    by Chad Ford, 1/23/03


    Darko Milicic isn't used to visitors in the small, windswept town of Vrsac, Yugoslavia. The occasional NBA scout drifts into town on occasion, but even most of them wait until his team KK Hemofarm travels to Belgrade to play a team like Partizan.

    "What are you doing here?" Milicic asks with a smile on his face.
    Of course, he knows. Like most of Yugoslavia's young guard of elite players, he follows ESPN closer than many of his American counterparts.
    "Shouldn't you be watching LeBron James?"

    Touché.

    While the rest of the world tuned in breathlessly to the first national broadcast on ESPN2 of a LeBron James game, I was navigating through the snow and ice to get a peek at the kid many think will be the second player selected in this year's NBA draft.

    Milicic, who is actually six months younger than LeBron, is trying to get his arms around the hype. "He's like Magic?" he asks. "Kind of," I respond. "Like Jordan?" he counters. "Sort of," I say. "What about Kobe," he says. "Maybe" is the best I can do.

    The truth is, we still don't know what James is. He dominates high school competition like few ever have. But he's playing against boys every night. Kwame Brown was beating the stuffing out of boys like that a few years ago.

    Milicic smiles even wider as I struggle to explain LeBron to him. He is rubbing a sore calf muscle. He's just hours removed from banging in the low post against a bigger, stronger 28-year-old defender.

    "I play against men," he says matter of factly.

    Then he drops the bomb. "So who do I remind you of?"

    Uh-oh. Milicic had just dropped one his most impressive performances of the year against a Euroleague team.

    Milicic scored 14 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, blocked five shots and handed out three uncredited assists (they don't count assists the same way in Europe as they do in the U.S.) in just 15 minutes. He picked a good time to put on a masterpiece. Scouts from the Pistons, Sonics and Bucks were also in attendance.

    Darko keeps pressing. He wants comparisons.

    Vlade Divac. Pau Gasol? Dirk Nowitzki? Arvydas Sabonis. He doesn't like any of them.

    Milicic, who stands 7-foot and carries a solid 245 pounds, is tough to pin down. He's still too young to play for the national team, so he hasn't had much opportunity to work with Divac or Peja Stojakovic. He knows them and respects them, but he doesn't try to be them. He is his own player. Comparisons quickly escape him. Is he Gasol? No, he's much stronger. Is he Nowitzki? Again, he's stronger and a much more physical player. Maybe Sabonis? He laughs and puts his head in his hands.

    So who exactly are you, Darko Milicic?

    "I like Kevin Garnett," Milicic begins. "He plays like Yugoslavian players play, with heart."

    The Garnett reference isn't surprising if you spend much time with any of the young European bigs. Vlade is the great grandfather. Peja is the father. They have paved the way. But Yugoslavians today don't just watch Kings games. They like the ferocity and versatility that Garnett displays on a nightly basis. They love a guy who scores 22 points, grabs 13 boards and still has time to dish out six assists.

    European players, like most African-American players, are stuck with stereotypes. You know the code words. Skills, fundamentals, great feel for the game. Milicic is all of these things, but he's not only these things. He's fast, athletic and will dunk it in your face.

    Right now, the NBA is still far from Milicic's mind. And it should be. The NBA has ruled that Milicic is ineligible for this year's draft. The league requires that international players be 18 years old before entering the draft. Milicic does turn 18 before the draft, but he'll miss the NBA's 45-day window to declare by three weeks. The league feels that makes him ineligible Milicic's agent, Marc Cornstein, has been working for over a month trying to convince the NBA Players Association to file a collective bargaining agreement grievance. The NBPA had a conference call this week with its executive committee. While some in the association feel that they should take up the cause, the NBA veterans that make up the executive committee aren't so sure. Why open the floodgates to 17-year-olds, when so many veterans are losing their jobs?

    If the NBA Players Association won't lead the fight, Milicic and Cornstein are probably out of luck. Milicic will have to wait until 2004 to get his shot at the NBA. He doesn't really grasp the political ramifications of such a move.

    In America we've convinced ourselves that the NBA is a man's game. College is the game for kids. In Europe, it's different. Kids go pro at 14. Milicic has already traveled throughout Europe and Asia. He understands life on the road and lives in a world where only the strongest survive. He doesn't need to be coddled.

    "I think I am ready," he said.

    Darko isn't cocky, but he's definitely confident in his game. "The people from the NBA who come to see me think I'm ready," he said. "Why does David Stern not think I'm ready. He's hasn't seen me play."

    Milicic quickly is becoming a big name in NBA circles, but he's still a relative unknown in Yugoslavia. Hemofarm doesn't get the same publicity as higher-profile Belgrade teams like Partizan and Red Star. Milicic's coach doesn't run plays for him, the guards dominate the scoring and Milicic spends most of his time setting cross screens. Coaches in Yugoslavia love control, and Milicic has been largely a victim of his own success.

    These days, Milicic is just trying to keep his demanding coach happy. The restrictions on him clearly frustrate him. His coach has told him to quit shooting from beyond the arc. During one game, he took and made a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down. His coach pulled him from the floor during the next stop in action. Darko spent most of the remaining time on the end of the bench.

    Milicic isn't complaining. "The coach is trying to make me a better player," he said. "He's trying to establish me as an inside player. He tells me the shots there are easier. He's right."

    Milicic says he actually prefers to play in the paint, a rarity for Yugoslavians who usually thrive on the perimeter. He likes the contact, the jockeying for position and the footwork drills. But most of all, he likes to be a team player. Asked whether he preferred to shoot 3s or dunk, Milicic chooses neither.

    "I like the assist," he said. "When I make a good assist, my coach is proud. He tells me that I see the floor very good. I want to help my teammates win."

    Milicic trains between five and six hours every day. He shoots for at least an hour, works on his ball handling and lifts before he goes to bed each night.

    It's that raw determination, coupled with a wealth of experience for a kid his age, that has NBA scouts and general managers drooling over Milicic.
    "When you look at 17-year-old big men in the States, you're basically looking at kids trying to grow into their body," one NBA scout told ESPN.com. "They are so much bigger than the local competition that they just end up being lazy and dunking all of the time. Darko's biggest advantage is that he's played against players who are his equal or better for a long time. That's how players, especially big men, get better. LeBron lapped his competition sometime last year."

    Unlike the Nuggets' Nikoloz Tskitishvili, the fifth overall pick last summer, Milicic is actually playing for his team. NBA scouts feel that he'll have a much smoother transition -- think Gasol -- than most young players.
    But what really excites them is his mature low-post play. "More than Nowitzki, Gasol or even Divac, Darko has a nasty streak in him that will help him succeed in the post," a league executive said. "A lot of the Europeans are really threes in the pros. He'll be a true low-post player. His coach is doing us a huge favor by forcing him to develop those skills now. He already has moves that remind me of (Hakeem) Olajuwon in the post. Once we get a hold of him, the sky's the limit."

    That is, if David Stern ever lets him come out and play.
  6. FreshPrince22

    FreshPrince22 Bench Warmer

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    What an ass :doh:
  7. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    another interesting look back...

    Brown helping Darko turn on the lights

    by Chad Ford, 10/3/03



    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- "Darko, get your hands up," new Detroit head coach Larry Brown yells at the No. 2 overall pick, Darko Milicic, during the Pistons' third day of training camp.

    Darko gets his hands up in the post as second-year forward Mehmet Okur guards him.

    "Darko, roll with the ball," Brown yells after Miliic pops instead of rolls on the pick and roll.

    Brown runs the play again. This time, Darko rolls to perfection. He catches the ball, spins and then misses the layup. He grabs his shorts, bends over and shakes his head in disgust.

    "Darko, don't quit," Brown yells. "Get a rebound. Don't give up on the play."

    Milicic nods, wipes the sweat from his brow and goes back and tries again. This time, Darko spins away from his defender and hits a soft fadeaway.

    "Darko, very good," Brown says with a smile.

    The scene will play out for the next hour. Darko will hear his name at least 50 times and on virtually every play.

    Tayshaun Prince, Okur and seven other players are on the floor with Milicic. But somehow, Brown only seems to see Darko.

    The 18-year-old prodigy is learning from the master. Both of them are loving it.

    Pistons president Joe Dumars watched from the sidelines with an even bigger grin across his face.

    "This is the best thing that could've ever happened to Darko Milicic," Dumars said. "He doesn't know how lucky he is."

    Dumars isn't just referring to the one-on-one instruction Darko is getting from arguably the best coach in the NBA. He's also alluding to the fact that, with veterans forced to miss the first few days of training camp, Milicic can make his mistakes outside the glare of the team veterans.

    "First impressions are important," Dumars said. "If they see Darko all exhausted the first day, it leaves an impression. He's got five practices under his belt and has improved dramatically with each one. He'll be ready when the veterans come in (Friday)."

    Ready for Ben Wallace? No one is ready for that, are they?
    When practice is over, Milicic walks over, shakes hands and says unsolicited, "I'm exhausted." He pauses. Then adds, "And I love it."
    Milicic does know how fortunate he is. Veterans Zeljko Rebraca and Okur have been telling him all week.

    Last season, coach Rick Carlisle virtually ignored rookies like Okur and Prince. With Brown in town, the opposite is true. He appears almost obsessed with teaching them how to play the game.

    "I've been here five days," Okur said, "and I've already learned many things. Coach Brown is making all of us better players. What's not to like?"

    Dumars feels the same way. Respect, he claims, is the most important thing in a player-coach relationship. Dumars believes that every player on his team will end up respecting Brown.

    "Players instinctively respond and gravitate to coaches who try to make you better," Dumars said. "I don't know many players who don't want to get better."

    While Okur and Milicic are talking, Brown is on the court still teaching. This time, he has all of his assistants huddled together as he debates various post moves with his staff.

    Early on, Milicic's biggest problem is conditioning. It's not that he underestimated how hard training camp would be. In Serbia, training camp consists of five, two-hour practices a day for 21 straight days. The regiment includes a brisk marathon through the forest every morning.

    "That's a real killer," he said with a smile. "This is easy compared to that."

    The problem is that Milicic took the summer off to rest. He had played for over two years straight. Now he's paying the price.

    After practice, a sore Darko is off to close on his first house. Early next week, he'll take a drivers test and soon be the proud owner of his first car -- a BMW X5 (he thinks). Everything is new to him. He is still adjusting to life in the NBA. He chose not to have someone from Serbia come live with him. He's on his own. That's the way he wanted it.

    "I don't want any distractions," Milicic said. "Right now I just need to eat, sleep and be in the basketball gym."

    Brown is excited to have such a willing student.

    "I love him," Brown said. "Right now, he's a deer looking at the headlights, but he's so skilled. He listens to everything you say and is skilled enough to go out there and execute."

    Brown says he's determined to ease Darko into the NBA this year. He'll have the luxury. With three other 7-footers on the roster, the Pistons are one of the few teams in the NBA that can afford to coddle their lottery pick.

    "LeBron (James), Carmelo (Anthony) and (Dwyane) Wade are going to come in and contribute right away and people from the press are going to kill us for passing on someone like them," Brown said. "But the thing is, they're thrown into the deep end. They don't have time to be taught. Whatever they did in high school or college is what they are going to do in the NBA. With Darko, we have time to change the way he plays."

    An NBA career is a marathon, not a sprint. After five days in camp, Darko Milicic is converting even the disbelievers that, at the end of the race, Dumars' gamble will pay off big -- thanks in part to an assist by Larry Brown.
  8. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    That damn rule chage effected our future for the next 10 years... Michael Curry pushed to have the age restriction changed... if it didn't get changed we would have been forced to pick between Melo, Bosh, Wade & Kaman.... But we'll never know if LB would have played them.
  9. DaviaG-Rap

    DaviaG-Rap First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    As for the Saunders regime, Darko's permanent benching was fair and understandable. Darko was given a second chance and precious minutes to prove himself, and he exhausted both with apathetic and lackluster play. Nothing in the NBA is given, and dispirited and inconsistent performance is neither appreciated nor rewarded.

    Darko lacks mental toughness and is the epitome of passivity. Milicic is consistently weak on the boards, and fails to chase loose balls or make hustle plays. When asked about poor fourth quarter performance, Milicic reasoned "I was cold. Coming in the fourth quarter, I have to warm up." As absurd as that comment is coming from a professional basketball player, it is apparent that Darko, and not anyone around him, is at fault for the current quandary he finds himself in.

    Ball don't lie! :rip:

    Hey man, whatever makes you feel better. You know you can't bare to see him go. :lie: :violin:
  10. Mad Hatter

    Mad Hatter First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    DaviaG-Rap
    Hey Dave! I'm gonna miss doin battle with you over our beloved 12th man. Hey maybe you can provide a regular report on how he's "wowin" them in Orlando. You know.....compare his stats to Sheed's or somebody. You guy is definitely number one for number of posts per minute played.

    I kinda like that violen music.:nod: It's groovin! Why not kick on the surround sound?
  11. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko


    Perhaps Darko should try using tights.
  12. Abe Froemen

    Abe Froemen First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    This may be a little premature but together lets all relive the darko era shall we :) :frusty:

    the pistons find out that they get the :second:pick in the nba draft

    the pistons know they wont get king james:Cry:

    the pistons hear about a 7 footer with amazing skill in eroupe from scouts:spy::nerd:

    the pistons prompty bring him in for a workout where he impresses everyone :flame: :thumb:

    the pistons sign this great player who has been touted as the next kg or better:welcome:

    the darko era has liftoff :rapture:

    the pistons hire the hall of fame coach larry brown who is well known for his teaching players how to play the game "the right way" but is also known for not liking/playing foriegn players:suspiciou:twitch: :tsk: :confused:

    darko promptly then learns how to sit on the bench:mmph: :ballchain

    a year passes the pistons win a nba title :first:and darko is a world champion but breaks his hand in the waning minutes of game 7 :eek:

    darko can not play for the summer league team and when training camp ends he lays claim to his old familar spot at the end of larry browns verry short bench :tinfoil3: :dizzy:

    the pistons fire larry brown after losing in game 7 of the nba finals failing to win back to back titles:Cry: :Cry: :Cry:

    The pistons hire flip saunders and the new era of darko is about to begin:fingerscr

    darko plays well in preseason and pistons fans all over the world rejoice :horn:

    chaucey billups publicly says :gossip: that larry brown treated darko unfairly and that he thinks darko will have a good year darko just needs a :hug: :grouphug: now and then

    the regular season begins and darko is given a shot and he falls a little :faint2: flat looking a bit disintrested:bored: and earning himself his spot on the bench back:frusty: :doh:

    pistons fans give up hope knowing that we wasted a :second: pick on this loser and after all the growing pains and cheering for darko hoping to make him better it was all for naught :violin: :rip:

    the pistons are about to trade the human victory cigar and hope:fingerscr that joe dumars has learned a very important lesson for his next draft pick make sure the kid can mofo ball first!

    So long darko good luck :bolt:
  13. Pastor Flournoy

    Pastor Flournoy First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    You got to be kidding me??????????? We will give up Darko and CA for A broke down 4 PPG player and a protected first round pick?

    Is this us paying back Orlando for giving us Wallace? Why don't we also send Amir to Atlanta for sending us sheed?
  14. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    LOL. Good one Abe. That about sums it up. :laugh:
  15. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Hat, when Darko blows up...

    In Orlando, and I'm talkin' 15, 10, 4, 4. That's 10 assists, 4 bounds and 4 blocks, I'm gonna to get so knee deep under your hat you might have to run from the forum. Hat---> :yo: :whip: <--- me

    Thanks for the reports guys. I hate it when people send me all over the net.
    Fresh 22 what the hell was that? KG doesn't play with heart???
  16. 16 Mile

    16 Mile Bench Warmer

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    Not gonna bother quoting Hatter and his ilk, but I thought this was a good luck Darko thread? Aren't their other threads to bash him?

    Good luck Darko, and stick with the crew cut.
  17. himat

    himat Bench Warmer

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    this trade is not going through. there will be a better trade oppurtunity than this.
  18. TheeTFD

    TheeTFD All-Star

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    All I need is another lottery pick and we start over. Deep as ever. Only no projects. And no bigs. Unless we can't sign BBen.
  19. Mad Hatter

    Mad Hatter First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    16 Mile
    Opps. You're right 16. Just couldn't resist sticking my head in the nursery after hearin all that cryin. Don't let me interrupt ya. You may proceed with comiseratin.

    :violin: :Cry:
  20. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    Re: Good Luck Darko

    When i first heard about this Darko Guy I thought it was a bad move. But I REALLY REALLY wanted it to work out. I hope he does well regardless of what team he's on.

    Mlive is reporting that the trade is almost wrapped up.

    Alright Joe, you picked a lemon, now make some lemonade. :fingerscr

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