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Thanksgiving is upon us, but I can hardly give thanks for the tragic news out of the Boston Celtics. Brace yourselves, Celtics fans.
Darko Milicic will no longer be wearing the Celtic green. He left before Sunday’s game against his former team, the Detroit Pistons, for personal reasons, as his mother has taken ill in Serbia.
On a (brief) serious note, SoB wishes him and his family the best. It takes some bravery to quit your livelihood to put your family first, especially as a former first round draft pick selected before such superstars as Dywane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony (sound familiar?).
For all his commendable off-court courage, though, it’s hard to say his on-court contributions to the Celtics will be missed: one game played, five minutes, 0-for-1 from the field, one rebound, one personal foul, and two turnovers for good measure.
Still, I’ll miss the Celtics’ Darko experiment.
Milicic’s time with the Celtics will be memorable for two reasons. First, I’ll always remember when Milicic first signed with the Celtics. The rhetoric surrounding his arrival was all about him not having to live up to his label as the second overall pick. All the Celtics needed was a semi-productive big man off the bench to fill up space and dole out fouls. Or something like that.
I’ll also always remember that one field goal attempt in his one moment of glory at the Garden. Not so much what led up to that one shining moment (can someone please do a slow motion mash-up of Darko’s one shot with the “One Shining Moment” song from the NCAA tournament?). I just remember Milicic got the ball at the edge of the lane with time running out on the shot clock, and all of a sudden he lumbered into the paint (some might call it a “move,” but not me) to unleash a left-handed baby hook that clanked off the iron.
I remember thinking to myself, “Now THAT is the shot the Celtics were looking to get on offense.” Too bad it’ll be the only field goal he’ll ever attempt with the Boston Celtics this year.
Considering this could be the end of the line for Darko’s NBA career, though, I guess I can be thankful for the lasting memories.