Darko Milicic is a wild card entering this season. And while the former No. 2 overall pick will probably never live up to his draft hype, he’s ready and willing to do whatever is asked of him in his first season in Boston.
"I’m done trying to prove I’m the No. 2 pick and that [expletive] stuff," Milicic said, according to CSNNE.com. "This year, it’s all about Celtics, to show that I am a team player. It’s not about me. It’s about us as a team."
Milicic says he is so focused on succeeding with his new team — the sixth of his NBA career — that he’s not opposed to getting a little violent, if necessary.
"I’ll do whatever it takes, whatever I need to do to help this team," Milicic reportedly said. "So now, if I have to go kill someone on the court, I’ll kill someone on the court."
OK, so Celtics fans aren’t exactly looking for one of their players to commit on-court murder, but it’s good to at least see some passion from Milicic, whose internal fire — or lack thereof — has often been questioned. Since being drafted No. 2 overall in 2003 — behind only LeBron James, and ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and a number of other serviceable NBA players — Milicic hasn’t enjoyed much success. He’s constantly mentioned as one of the biggest draft busts in sports history, which is a label he’d love to shed going forward.
Milicic could draw inspiration from the fiery Kevin Garnett, whose passionate ways are often contagious.
"That’s going to be good," Milicic told CSNNE.com. "It’s good when you have somebody pushing you to your limit. Those guys have experience playing in the finals, going deep into the playoffs. That’s what they have in mind. They don’t think about losing; they think about winning a championship, especially this year. All these guys are getting old now. They’re looking forward to winning one or two more championships. I’m here now to help them, whatever it takes."
Milicic is saying all the right things so far. Now, it’s time to start doing the right things, which is somewhat unfamiliar to the seven-footer.