HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Minnesota Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has landed the latest, and perhaps the defining rebuke of the myth that once was Darko Milicic, by opting to go with anyone but the former No. 2 overall pick as his starting center this week with Nikola Pekovic sent home to rest sore ankles.
We know, smashing on Darko is no longer a spectator sport. It’s become a bit of a brutal ritual for folks like us, those of us that have refuted this notion that he was destined to be the global icon some billed him to be when he was selected after LeBron James and before the like of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2003 Draft.
But Adelman’s decision to keep Milicic on the bench should be seen as exactly what it is, yet another reminder that our first impressions of Milicic (when he couldn’t get out of Larry Brown‘s doghouse in Detroit) were probably spot on. Adelman didn’t spare any feelings when explaining to the Star Tribune why he chose rookie forward Derrick Williams over Milicic to start alongside Kevin Love:
“He hasn’t done anything to really give you a lot of faith that he’s going to go out and do the job,” Adelman said of Milicic. “He’s gotten himself out of shape. He hasn’t been as driven as you’d like so when a situation like this happens, it’s time for someone to have their opportunity and get back in there. Today, [Williams] going to get his chance and Anthony Randolph is going to get his chance and we’ll see if any of those guys can step up.”
May the Darko myth rest in peace! And be warned, history will not be kind to the real story.