Author Sam Borden traveled to Novi Sad, Serbia to interview former Wolves center Darko Milicic—he played for the Pistons, Magic, Grizzlies, Knicks, and Celtics as well—for an ESPN E60 feature story on the center labeled as one of the biggest busts in NBA draft history.
Borden dives deep into Darko’s new life, writing about 10 reasons Milicic is actually an utter success. The story is a fascinating inside look at one of the more polarizing big men over the past 15 years, so I wanted to recommend finding some time to read this superb piece if you have not already had the chance to.
Darko now finds peace through farming on his 125 acres filled with apple trees and cherries. He exports the apples to Dubai, Russia and countries in Africa. There are tons of other interesting tidbits in the story like Chauncey Billups teaching Darko when to shower as a rookie, his Porsche Panamera that still has Minnesota license plates on it, as do his other cars from whatever NBA city he drove them in, and although I think this was already pretty well known, the piece reminds us that Darko actually told David Kahn NOT TO TRADE FOR HIM. Kahn did it anyway, which seems like DK in a nutshell.
He first thought about leaving in Orlando, if he's being honest, when they didn't sign him to a contract extension. But Memphis gave him a $21 million contract because the Grizzlies thought they could fix him. Then, when that didn't work out, he nearly left again, but the Timberwolves -- even after he advised Minnesota not to trade for him -- dealt for him anyway and offered a $20 million contract, convinced that they, in fact, were the ones who could bring out the talent everyone was so sure Darko possessed. (They weren't.)
Check out this feature story! It’s well worth the read.