After a years performance in the Darko-Grizzlies era, many still believe that THIS is the year Darko will truly live up to the hype, and become the player that many experts predicted him to become.
After a paltry season as a Grizz "rookie", where he posted a stat line of 7.2 points/6.1 rebounds/0.8 assists/1.6 bpg in 24 mpg, is Darko poised to "breakout" this season?
There were rumors swirling over the past few weeks of a deal proposing a Darko/Marko for Zach Randolph swap. Now, thankfully, this deal appears to be as dead as Pauly Shore's acting career.
There has been talk of Darko possibly getting extensive minutes at the PF position this year, courtesy of our man Chip here at 3ShadesofBlue and his interview with head coach Mark Iavaroni.
On that note, would Darko be able to produce at the 4 spot? Many experts pegged him as a player who would never be a true NBA center, and that his natural NBA position was better suited at the 4, rather than the 5. Having played center for the Grizzlies last year, and having watched many excruciating performances at said position, I am beginning to believe these so called "experts".
The main knock on Darko in the past (other than being a bust) is that he has the confidence level of a pimple faced 9th grader asking the head cheerleader to prom. There were many games in which Darko would start early, hit some quick shots, get into a flow, and then seemingly disappear from the game. The disappearance usually coincided with either missing a few straight shots, or when getting a breather. Darko never seemed to close a game out on a positive note, rather he seemed to duck away when crunch time arrived. Sometimes he would disappear so quickly that you would have had an easier time finding the remains of Jimmy Hoffa.
With this being said, and the jury is still out, this IS Darko's year to prove his worthiness or unworthiness of being an NBA player. There is NO Pau this year, virtually noone standing in his own way. Darko controls his own destiny. He is the veteran big man this year, with 3 rookies in Marc Gasol, Hamed Haddadi, and Darrell Arthur looking to him as the "man". The only other big man veteran we have is a #2 pencil...........I mean Hakim Warrick.
Lets face it, Darko will most likely never "light it up", but will he finally break free from the stigma surrounding him? Can he prove the naysayers wrong? Can he finally string together performances to prove otherwise?
The judge shall reserve sentencing until all evidence is in, and I am able to weigh said evidence.
Until then, court dismissed.
Usually good travel deals include hotels as well as facility of car rental.