Tag: Darko

Darko Milicic Pistons

Win Darko Milicic’s championship ring in a raffle


First things first: Yes, Darko Milicic has a championship ring.

Mock him if you want, but he was a rookie on a veteran Pistons team in the 2004 season and he wasn’t playing much (just 34 games). He played a total of 14 minutes in the playoffs and was a human victory cigar.

He still was part of the team, he gets a ring.

And it can be yours.

Following in the footsteps of Ron Artest, Darko is raffling off his ring for charity (via Ball Don’t Lie). The online charity raffle will benefit the Zorana and Darko Milicic Fund for Children with Life Threatening Diseases.

But not only does the winner get the ring, he or she gets tickets to a 2011 NBA finals game, airfare to and two nights hotel in whatever city the game is in, $500 spending cash, an autographed Darko jersey — and they are covering the taxes on the prize.

Darko’s fund helps Serbian hospitals conducting medical research on Batten’s disease, a terminal condition that affects young children. It’s about as worthy a cause as you’re going to find. Raffle tickets are just $2 each (but you have to buy at least five).

That’s a lot of potential prizes for a $10 investment (and you know the money is going to something worthy). If you have the money to spend, consider this.

David Kahn's letter to Wolves fans: rebuilding of the Timberwolves "nearly complete"

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Thumbnail image for david-kahn.jpgAt least the Timberwolves are being open with their fan base. That’s a positive.

First there was the odd full-page letter to the fan base in the Star Tribune yesterday. Then there was the personal letter from the architect of the current Timberwolves, GM David Kahn, to Wolves fans. Here are some highlights, but check out the whole thing at the Star Tribune:

At this point, I can safely say that the rebuilding of the Timberwolves roster is, at long last, nearly complete.

Well, come to think of it, it hasn’t taken that long…

During the last 14 months, we have added several pieces to our ballclub:  perimeter shooting, athleticism and length to the roster, and all while maintaining our youth.  Just as important, we have done so with an eye toward adding more talent by choosing to operate under the salary cap.

The reality is, we are still lacking a dominant player – our version of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Kevin Durant – and that will remain an item at the top of the To-Do list.

It’s possible this player could emerge from within the roster…

However, if one of our players fails to emerge, we will be prepared to find more talent for our team – and we will seek a singular move rather than a series of moves, as we did these last 14 months.

Last season Darko earned $7.5 million in the final year of a four-year deal.  He took almost a 50 percent paycut to return to the NBA.  He wants to be here and we want him here.  There simply aren’t many centers of his size and athleticism who are capable of playing an all-around game.

Um okay. Far be it from me to burst the bubble of preseason optimism, but a couple things.

Getting that “dominant player” is actually the hardest thing to do for GM. There are a handful of them in the league — how many players are there in the league who could lead a team to an NBA title as “the man?” Ten? (We can argue the margins of that if you want, but it’s pretty close to that.) There are 30 teams that want those players and the teams that have them don’t give them up willingly (see Cavaliers, Cleveland). And really, you need to have a couple of them or pair them with someone just off the list.

You have to be able to lure those handful of elite players as a free agent — which frankly would be hard to do in Minnesota — or draft them. Which is about as likely as winning the lottery. Literally. You say Minnesota could trade for Carmelo Anthony and I say do you think they have any chance of signing him to an extension?

So this singular move thing… not so simple.

The rest of the roster being nearly complete? There are young players with potential but how they are used in the T-Wolves “run and triangle” system leaves us wondering how good they really are. Some may pan out, some will not — Beasley was a good risk, but don’t bet on it beign a single, let alone a home run. Kevin Love is good enough to make Team USA and play well — maybe you should try giving him a bigger role.

And you kept Darko at half the price? Well, somebody really an unexpected steal with that contract.

Really, just go read the whole letter. You’ve earned the break from reality.