Darko Milicic Has Found Peace Living His Life As A Farmer
Draft night 2003, a night Pistons fans will never forget. It was perhaps the most talented Draft Class we’ve ever seen and the hard working city of Detroit was finally going to get what they deserve, a talent that could carry their Franchise forward.
With having the 2nd pick of the Draft along with the abundance of talent available, it was a situation where you couldn’t lose, any Draft choice was a success, right? Wrong!
The Pistons went on to make a big mistake, selecting Darko Milicic with the 2nd pick in the 2003 Draft, leaving not only future Superstars in Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the table, but more alarmingly, Carmelo Anthony.
Being called a bust his entire career took a toll on the 2004 NBA Champion, something he was able to leave behind after retiring. Milicic, who turns 38 today, now found peace, living his life as a farmer.
“I’ve gained 90 pounds since I stopped playing. I’m at 350 right now. I’m working at my farm and enjoying that kind of production. I take walks through my fields and watch the process, which makes me really happy. I’m still pretty inexperienced at this, so I like to learn, seek guidance, go to seminars. I’ve created my own peace of mind, and I’m enjoying it. There are always problems like in any other field of work, but I’d rather do this than build skyscrapers in the city, because I’d end up shooting myself. I think this is the most positive story of them all — food production and food in general is the future in every sense.”
Milicic gave a very interesting interview to Yahoo! Sports, critically reflecting on his NBA career, opening up about why he was such a bust, mostly blaming his own actions and behavior.
“I’d do a lot of things differently now. It’s true I ended up on a team trying to win a ring, which rarely happens to a No. 2 pick, but in the end we’re all looking for excuses. I could say I didn’t get a proper chance, but that’s simply an excuse; it’s up to a young player to prove himself, work hard and wait for his chance. My approach was completely different. As a No. 2 pick coming from Europe, I thought I was sent by God, so I got into fights, got drunk before practices, spiting everyone, but I was spiting myself.
So yeah, I was the problem. That initial dissatisfaction probably led to me starting to hate and not enjoy playing. There were some situations where I’ve already scored 20 points, but in my head I’m thinking, ‘When will this game finally end, come on, let’s pack it up and go home.’ I just had to feed my ego. I couldn’t care less what’s going to happen the following week. My whole approach since coming to the US was just wrong. I could say I was too young back then, but I chose to go there myself and I obviously wasn’t prepared for what the league would require from me.”
Milicic also explained, why he doens’t consider himself a typical bust. He said:
“The people in the U.S. are obsessed with stats as a nation. They simply look at the stats, and that’s it. Although, I think they have the full right to do so. The guy looks at my stats and sees me as a role player who’s happy to get his chance, but that’s not who I am. I run away from that; for my whole life I’m going to be the No. 2 pick who didn’t live up to the expectations, but I am what I am. I’m different from other busts. They wanted to, but couldn’t, and I could when I wanted to. That’s the issue in my head, but no one wants to dig deeply into it. They just look at the stats and tell me I’ve done nothing.”
His NBA career was overshadowed by the players who were drafted after him. Milicic played in the NBA for 9 seasons, averaging 6.0 PPG, 4.2 REB and 1.3 BLK, winning a championship in his rookie year, something Carmelo Anthony hasn’t achieved yet.