Sometimes, the life as a footnote in NBA history can be hard on a player. For Darko Milicic, he had an admirable run of 10 years in the league but, he will always be looked at as a misstep in the stacked 2003 NBA Draft class.
Being drafted alongside mega-stars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony makes the former Detroit Pistons second overall selection’s career seem like a massive disappointment. For all his success, he will always be compared to those players.
Now, the veteran big man is leading a much lower key life in Serbia. The Detroit Free Press learned that he is now a farmer. He’s happy with his new career path and lifestyle nurturing crops. The 31-year-old is still sore about not getting a fair shake in American basketball.
Milicic said: “It is a brutal system in America and I do not like it. You’ve got players who are first, second picks, and they immediately get an opportunity to play. I never got the chance. LeBron James is a killer, but the first year, they gave him a chance.”
A lot of that statement makes a lot of sense as young players are usually better when given a chance to figure their way on the court through experience.
Many high-profile “draft busts” are players that are talented but did not find themselves in a great situation from the outset of their careers.
The center would fall into that category as he was commonly only called upon after the results of games had been largely determined. He was drafted to a stacked team that was strong at his position and never really got his shot.
10 years in the league is nothing to sneeze at and some people will never understand his point of view. Now, he can enjoy the fruits of his labour without having to worry about other people’s expectations.