Friday, February 17, 2006

No reason to buy this shirt now...

Not that there's any reason to buy any merchandise (although it's still available) that intended to "free" somebody, since in most cases they get free (i.e. Yayo, Pimp C, and now Darko) and you can't really wear it anymore.

Thus continues the strange days of Darko Milicic, now in the sunny confines of Orlando. I'd say it was a win-win for both sides. Pistons GM Joe Dumars has rid himself of his lone mistake during his tenure, no longer to be haunted by the "what-if"'s of having reconsidered the '03 draft, where at least 33 other players picked after Darko have had more productive careers. Detroit now frees up the cap space to help keep their NBA-best starting 5 in tact, and can continue to win games without having to worry about playing their formerly-prized Serbian. Darko, meanwhile, had his patience for sitting on the bench for so long rewarded with a championship ring that he did nothing to earn. He now has more rings than Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and John Stockton combined. And it wasn't like he was hated in Detroit, either -- his entrance into games so often meant a win was imminent that he earned the nickname "the human victory cigar" (probably also because Piston fans wanted to set him on fire as well -- you know how they get in Detroit!). And his team never held it against him that he did nothing to help win games other than dye his hair for good luck. They saw what he could do in practice. [Practice? We talkin' bout practice?] Rasheed went as far as to say:

"I'm telling you, Darko is a Serbian gangster. Darko's got some bodies back there (in Serbia-Montenegro). He can go psycho on guys."

What kind of friend would go as far as to insinuate that you've killed people? Only the best, damn it!

Now comes the true test, the largest obstacle a European-born NBA player must hurdle -- making your team's city accept you. And this time, considering the current state of the Magic, sitting at the end of the bench until garbage time ain't going to cut it. Dirk Nowitzki got one of the largest cities in otherwise-untrusting-of-foreigners Texas to love a student from the "school of Germany". [Inside joke, unless you play a lot of NBA Live] Spanish-born Pau Gasol got Memphis to throw some rice and beans on to the side of that plate of ribs. It's all up to Darko whether in 2 seasons from now he's doing commercials for Disney World, or whether he'll fit in like, say, a Yugoslavian in Florida.