When reports first surfaced about the Celtics interest in Darko Milicic, I was prepared to storm the offices on Causeway Street to make my point – Anybody but Darko.
Sure, he’s a big body with p-p-p-otential, but I didn’t want my organization tainted by this laughingstock.
Let’s just say I’m starting to come around. Celtics.com’s Mark D’Amico writes:
“I know what my job is,” Milicic said on Thursday. “I’m not looking to go crazy on offense.”
Milicic’s ability to process that fact is both newsworthy to the basketball world and refreshing to him. He was not brought here to be the No. 2 pick in the draft, as he was on his first five NBA teams. Instead, he was acquired to be an important role player, which seems to be a much more comfortable situation for the largest man on Boston’s roster.
“We’re not asking him to go out and be (Kareem Abdul-) Jabar,” Doc Rivers joked. “We’re just asking him to help us win basketball games, and I think that’s helped him.”
He’s saying and doing all the right things, and he’s even got some personality.
We’ve set the bar very low for a lot of big men; guys like Greg Stiemsma, Ryan Hollins, Patrick O’Bryant, Jermaine O’Neal, etc. Their role was simple – rebound and play some defense. Some were decent, others failed miserably.
We have miles to go before the regular season, but it’s looking like Darko might be the best of that bunch.
Related link: ESPN Boston – Darko settling into his role