Darko Milicic, the Celtics recent addition at the center position, is less known by his play through nine years in the league but more thought of as the guy drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the 2003 NBA Draft. The 7-foot player out of Serbia won a title with the Detroit Pistons his rookie year but has yet to stay with one team for more than three seasons.
The Celtics are the seventh team to try and bring out the NBA potential in Milicic. For now, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is simply trying to help him get settled with his new team.
“I tell him every day, ‘You’re no longer Darko. You’re a Celtic,’” he said. “And one day, we asked him what his name was and he said, ‘Celtic.’ And everyone just started laughing. All I’m trying to do is get him to forget about trying to be something he isn’t – and just be someone for the team.”
Milicic has already worked out with Kevin Garnett and the other Celtics big men. KG is recognized as one who can raise the level of play for underachieving centers and is eager to show Milicic the Celtic Way. “Right now, he probably lacks a little bit of self-confidence,” said Garnett. “And I will help with that. I’ll do as much as I can to influence him and encourage him. But it’s going to take something from him, too. He’s never been around a team like this. He’s never been around guys like this. He’s never been in a situation where there is so much energy and encouragement.” More Boston Celtics updates to come!