Author and former ESPN NBA Draft Insider, Chad Ford, opened up about Darko Milicic and his struggles in the Detroit Pistons.
Milicic was selected in No.2 of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Pistons, but never managed to make the difference, despite his great potential.
Ford also compared the way the Pistons tried to develop Milicic to the way the Milwaukee Bucks helped Giannis Antetokounmpo become a superstar.
“My take on him and watching him play was huge. Ηim getting drafted second by the Pistons is the single craziest story I have been involved with in the NBA.
Darko hitting threes, was aggressive, dunking during his workout with the Pistons. He goes to Detroit and kills the workout again. But, Larry Brown was not convinced that Darko was going to be a star.
Darko was frustrated, as Brown would not play rookies, since they were competing for the NBA title. At the same time, Darko saw Wade and James be focal points of their teams.
Darko went through a level of depression, a lot of promises the team made but never materialized. Pistons players at the time thought Darko would become a star, based on his talent. He was very serious and mature, given all he had been through.
The Pistons did not make a lot to transitioning him from playing overseas to playing in the NBA.
The Bucks (in regards to Giannis Antetokounmpo), on the other hand, did an amazing job of understanding he is a young person, we should do everything to make the transition as good as possible.
Put him in the D-League, develop him, put no pressure on him, see what happens. He (Antetokounmpo) was not that great in his rookie season, but you could see the potential,” Chad said during his recent appearance in the ”World of Basketball” podcast with Fran Fraschilla on SiriusXM.
Milicic spent three years in Detroit (2003-2006) and retired from the NBA in 2013.