Great Quotes: Darko Milicic

“It’s the NBA. The NBA, all around the league, same (garbage). ‘Your chance is going to come.’ All that kind of (garbage). (Forget) that…I’ve got to be real. There is no team in the league that is going to give me the chance that I’m looking for. My only chance is back in Europe. I’m going to do that. I want to be happy. I want to play.”

Darko Milicic, via MLive.com, on all the lying that goes on in the NBA

Part of me feels bad for this guy. Coming to the U.S. from another country, he spent his rookie season as an 18-year-old kid playing for Larry Brown. Then I check out his page at Basketball-Reference and see that he has made more than $30 million, and I don’t feel bad for him anymore.

He complains about not getting his chance, but it’s not like he was stuck on one team under one regime his entire career. He has played for four different franchises, so he has had plenty of opportunity. He wants playing time? He played 23 minutes for the Magic and Grizzlies in back to back seasons and didn’t average more than 8.0 points or 6.0 rebounds either year.

If he’s such a good player, he would dominate in practice and his head coach would be forced to give him minutes. It’s not like there’s a league-wide conspiracy to keep Darko Milicic down. Head coaches want to win, and if that means he gets big minutes, so be it. If that means he rides the bench, so be it.

When a team acquires a player and keeps him around for a while, that’s an opportunity. It’s his job to practice hard and keep improving to the point where the coach has to give him playing time. If he doesn’t, he’s just squandering the opportunity. And Milicic has squandered plenty…

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