Friday, September 7, 2007

Darko Act I

Memphis, meet Darko Milicic.

You might have missed his initial press conference this summer. You probably wish you would have missed this story too.

Darko Milicic, the Grizzlies top free agent acquisition and 7 foot Serbian center provided his Memphis fanbase with quite the opening act.

Darko Act I featured a profanity laced tirade directed towards the refs after Serbia lost to Greece. It was, of course, in Serbian. It was not only directed at the refs, but also their families. It was nasty, viscous, appalling, inappropriate, and whatever other negative descriptor that comes to your mind. I'm leaving it up to the reader to find the translation for themselves. Google.

Naturally, Chris Wallace didn’t like what he read. I don’t like reading what he said. No sensible person would approve of what he said.

That's why it is embarrassing to admit that when I first saw the youtube clip of Darko's outburst, I was smiling and enjoying myself. Sure, that was mostly because I do not speak Serbian and had not yet read the translation. But still. My first thoughts was that if we didn't catch lightning in a bottle, we might have caught venom in a vile. And isn't that what we have always wanted next to Pau?

This isn’t the same Darko I remember. Admittedly, I did not see Darko play much in Orlando, being restricted only to the few Grizzlies games he made an appearance in. Still, this isn’t the same Darko I remember sitting on the end of the Pistons bench wearing a bandaid on his ear. This Darko is big. This Darko is mean. This Darko is pissed.

Wait. I need to remember what he actually let himself say to a bunch of reporters after a heartbreaking overtime loss.
It probably can't be stressed enough that he needs to control his emotions better. He was unprofessional. Right or wrong, we expect players to play hard during the game while pushing their emotional level to the brink without going over, then after the game, be calm, professional and display role model type sportsmanship. When players do go over the edge, whether during or after the game, we then frown upon it to varying degrees. This situation isn't any different.

But screw it. I’m a homer and I don't want what looked like a great offseason tainted right now.

I want this to be a glimpse into a mean Darko who will be the teams enforcer that we’ve always wanted next to Pau (minus the vulgar content about the refs and their families of course). Someone that won't let the Mavs tip out a missed free throw in the closing minutes of a playoff game. Someone that makes opposing guards think twice before driving the lane. Someone that won't stand for Mike Miller to be elbowed in the throat (provided they aren't on the bench and it is a crucial playoff game).

Darko's low rumblings during his initial press conference reminded many Griz fans of Drago from Rocky IV. I'm not sure how this latest incident changes that comparison. Maybe a juvenile Drago.

Darko Act I: Young Drago gets mad

(Aside…Ever since Darko's press conference this summer I have had the idea that Darko would make a perfect pro wrestler. He is already known by a single name (I doubt most casual fans know his last name). He is big. He is mean. And he apparently gives pro wrestling quality backstage interviews after getting screwed by the refs. Maybe him and Pacman could be a tag-team.)

Update: Slam Online has a take on the subject.
Update 2: The always-entertaining Bethlehem Shoals weighs in.
Update 3: FIBA fines Darko $13,770.
Update 4: Chris Sheridan with a hilarious comment:

Speaking of the Serbs, by the way, we invite those not easily offended to seek out a full translation of Darko Milicic's rant against FIBA referees last week. Let's just say the rant is so vicious, we will no longer be accepting nominations for this year's version of the Tim Duncan I Hate FIBA award. In fact, we'll go so far as to say Darko's rant will set the standard for ref-bashing for decades to come. Yes, it was that bad.

1 comment:

Spartacus said...

Darko: I must break you!