No. 2 Draft Pick Darko Milicic Says he got Drunk Before Practices With the Pistons
NBA bust Darko Milicic was selected with the No. 2 pick in a 2003 draft by the Detroit Pistons, the Serbian 7-footer was drafted before Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and even Kyle Korver. This was the draft where LeBron James was drafted No. 1 overall. He went on to only average 6 points and 18.5 minutes over his 10-year career.
Milicic opened up about why he was such a bust, blaming it on fights and drinking.
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.”
Milicic played just three seasons with the Pistons and averaged 1.6 points per game.
He bounced around from Orlando to Memphis, then to New York and Minnesota. He played one game with the Celtics in 2012 before getting released, he has since become a farmer.