Sunday, January 15, 2006

After sitting through Detroit's victories over the Hornets on Tuesday (96-86) and the Spurs on Thursday (83-68), Darko finally got to see his first 2006 court time last night, helping propel the Pistons to a 114-91 win over the Bobcats.

While Darko was only in the game for about six and a half minutes, he made the most of that brief amount of time by setting a new career high assist total of 3, one of which was off a nifty pass that had the Palace faithful buzzing. Great work.

An interesting couple of paragraphs about Darko showed up in the Charlotte Observer's gameday notes yesterday. First:

In his third NBA season, Darko Milicic is still seeing next to no playing time. In other words, the Pistons are getting nothing out of the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 draft.

This comment is quite humorous, although it is probably unintentionally so. If the Pistons are getting nothing out of the arrangement, it is because they have chosen to get nothing out of it. They have simply not given Darko the opportunity to step up and do his thing. It is Darko, not the club, who is truly getting nothing out of being picked No. 2. He does not have the power to take any action to remedy the situation; the Pistons do.

After having read that quote, one might think that the Observer has a negative opinion of Darko as a baller, but that is not the case. From the very next paragraph:
Maybe the guy needs a new team -- like the Bobcats maybe?

The writer was very quick to downplay D-Mil's contribution in the first paragraph, but the true underlying desire to have Darko join the Bobcats came through loud and clear just a couple of sentences later. This attitude is very much consistent with the line of thinking that seems to exist among many NBA teams: Publicly pooh-pooh Darko in an attempt to lower his trade value, while secretly praying like heck that you can swoop in and take him on the cheap so that he can save your franchise. It is very much like a reverse pump-and-dump.

Perhaps a trade would actually be the best thing that could happen to Darko at this point. However, it's not very likely to happen anytime soon because Joe Dumars is very much aware of what a tremendous asset he has in DM. It's hard to imagine that any other NBA club could possibly come up with an attractive enough package to convince Dumars to ever part with Darko. In the meantime, it will be fun to watch what other silly actions/statements these clubs and their beat writers can come up with in trying to fool the sharpest GM in basketball.


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