You know Darko Milicic as the guy drafted after LeBron James but before Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and a host of other future NBA stars. While he bounced around the NBA for a decade as a big at the end of the bench, his name became synonymous with “bust.” His nickname was “human victory cigar.” A guy who grew up in the shadow of the Yugoslavian civil wars, he was known for being a bit morose during his NBA tenure.
When last we saw Milicic he was trying his hand at kickboxing. While he thought he was great at it, results suggested otherwise.
Maybe he’s at peace now — as a Serbian farmer. Milicic talked about it in an interview with Serbian news website B92.net, transcribed at r/NBA.
I’ve gained 90 pounds since I stopped playing, I’m at 350 right now. I’m working on 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.
Good for him… well, not the 90 pounds part, that’s not really healthy, but the feeling at peace thing. Everyone deserves the chance to be happy, and if you go read the transcription of the interview he admits he was never comfortable and happy in the NBA.
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….
Playing in the NBA is a dream come true for majority of basketball players, and everyone should strive to achieve that. But if you can’t get used to the atmosphere you’re living in, you’ll have a bad time, both as a person and as a player. The lifestyle didn’t suit me at all, I’m a very social guy and I like to hang out. There’s none of that in the US, it’s simply go to work and go home. See you at the practice, see you in the plane, see you in the bus, see you at the gym and that’s it. You live game by game, hotel by hotel.
It sounds like he was never on a team with great chemistry, or when he was (Detroit) he was not ready to fit into that. He admits his mistakes.
Hopefully, now, he’s in a good space.