Exit Interviews: Darko Milicic

You're a starting center in the NBA, act like it.

If I had to sum up your season in one word, it’d be very difficult. I don’t think I really could.

The inconsistency in your game has had everyone criticizing your new big deal as one of the oddest, and perhaps senseless, in a very long time. But what they didn’t see is the growth and maturity we saw that blossomed over the course of the year.

That may be a bit overstated, and to bring you back down to earth, you just like everyone else on this squad failed your coach and the entire organization in the second half of the season. All that growth throughout the first half of the season sort of went to waste at the end of the year.

Just don’t take this too critically. That growth we saw in you through the first half of the year is enough to bring you back safely and give another year a go. But, just as everyone else, here’s what you need to do.

Just like your Serbian counterpart, your conditioning needs to improve. I understand that 7-foot behemoths aren’t manufactured to sprint by any means, but we play basketball, and running is a vital part of the game. If only you had the sprinting ability of Anthony Randolph, you’d be the most sought after center in the game (Almost.) Improving your conditioning will do wonders for your game.

Another major aspect of your game that needs tuning is your ability to share the ball. Within the triangle system where your teammates are constantly running of screens and cutting, your passing skills perfectly fit. But for some reason you don’t utilize that power, and whenever you get the ball in the post, you’re an awful lot like a black hole: If the ball goes in, it’s never coming out. Your passing ability should work to our advantage but most times it doesn’t. All this means is that your diligent studying skills are going to kick in this summer. We need you to study Rambis’ playbook and know it like the back of your hand. And when it comes time to execute next season, just understand that you’re not the only one on the floor. Utilize your teammates and make them better.

That’s all for now. You had a good season, Darko, but it needs to be better if you want to last as a starting center in this league. You’re good, but you’re not that good, so get hungry, get into shape and come back next year with a new, passionate mindset for the game.

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