Post-game Reactions

What appeared to be just a short personal absence last night in Detroit may turn out to be much more for Celtics’ center Darko Milicic as according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the big man is considering leaving the C’s for good to tend to his ill mother in Europe.

Milicic, the No. 2 overall pick in the famed 2003 NBA Draft, didn’t travel with the Celtics to Detroit this weekend, and sources say that he’s close to deciding to leave the NBA for the season to be with his ill mother in Serbia. After failing to play since opening night, After failing to play since opening night, Milicic has also been frustrated with his lack of a role with the Celtics, sources said.

If Milicic, 27, leaves the Celtics less than a month into his one-year contract, it could ultimately spell the end of a disappointing NBA career that has included stops in Detroit, Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota and briefly, Boston.

In recent years, Milcic has strongly considered a permanent return to Europe. Leaving the Celtics now could ultimately push him toward that phase of his career.

Boston coach Doc Rivers met with Milicic recently and told him to take time to make a decision on his family and future, sources said.

CH’s Analysis: An unfortunate situation for the seven-footer, who has played a mere five minutes for the C’s this year during an underwhelming stint in the home opener at the TD Garden. While we can only hope for the best for Darko, his mother and his family moving forward as he wrestles with a decision about being close to home, it’s hard to ignore that it’s been a tough few weeks for Milicic after a promising preseason in Boston. The center had battled with a wrist injury that slowed him down towards the end of the preseason schedule, but seemed poised to start the regular season in the rotation in front of Chris Wilcox, who missed all of the preseason with a back injury. 

That scenario was short-lived however as Darko fell out of the rotation in mere moments after his ugly effort against Milwaukee and Wilcox has been arguably the biggest bright spot coming off Boston’s bench to this point, assuming a stranglehold on the backup center position. Even when Doc has looked further down the bench for rebounding and defensive help, like during Thursday night in Brooklyn, it was Jason Collins getting the call over the Serbian center, something that must have been tough for the former second overall pick to swallow.

While we probably won’t know for a few days if Darko’s exit from the C’s this year is imminent, there are a few things to keep in mind, if and when the C’s find a replacement for him on the 15-man roster. As Woj explains in his piece, there are already rumors swirling the C’s veterans are pushing for Kenyon Martin as a big-man roster addition. It’s early yet, so we’ll take a closer look at whether Martin would make sense as an additional piece in the days to come, but with the depth in the frontcourt at this juncture, I’d be surprised if Danny Ainge was looking to make a quick move here to fill the void. The possibility of keeping the spot open until roster buyouts in February and March may also be a possibility as well.

Either way, the Darko era may have ended sadly in Boston before it even got off the ground. CelticsHub will be at practice tomorrow covering the latest news on Milicic’s status with the team.


The following two tabs change content below.

Brian Robb

Brian Robb co-founded CelticsHub in 2009 and is the currently editor-in-chief. He is a producer and reporter at 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston and also contributes to Boston.com and Bleacher Report among other outlets.
Share →
  • Phil

    I've pretty much championed the anti-Darko portion of comments sections since the first rumors that the Cs were interested, but there's also a clear separation between on court and off court, and I wish him well and hope everything goes good for him back in Serbia with his family.

    Ironically, this probably affects the fans more than the Celtics. I really don't think Doc ever saw anything to give him the intention of playing him, and it's understandable that Darko's experience hasn't really matched up with what was probably promised by Ainge. A lot of fans on the other hand held onto Darko as a magical solution to a lot of problems, and will now have to find another horribly misinformed one.

    I'd have to see what Martin offers as far as remaining athleticism before I comment on whether or not he could help, but I have a hard time seeing the Cs landing someone better regardless. Boston isn't exactly prime buyout landing real estate anymore; the Lakers will likely get first dibs with their non-existent bench and perceived title odds being better.

  • IBleedGreen

    I don't understand why Darko's not getting minutes. Rebounding and defense have been the biggest problems so far this season, I am sure Darko can help in those areas. Sad to see him go (if he does) and wish him and his family the best.

    • Vince

      He's not getting minutes because he's a terrible basketball player. If here were 6'9 he'd have been out of the league 8 yrs ago.

      • IBleedGreen

        "If he were 6'9"…but he isn't, that's why he should get some minutes on this team that lack size.

        • Vince

          The main point is he stinks at basketball. If he were decent, or even "not horrible," he would not be available for league minimum for his 7th team in 10 yrs. You seem to think he's a good basketball player, when all he is is tall.

          • IBleedGreen

            I don't think Darko is a good player overall, but I think he's a decent defender, and BIG, which this team needs.

          • IBleedGreen

            and his shot blocking ability really stands out in the pre-season

    • janos

      you know this is fault coach make a bad rotate him

    • rav

      Darko's a decent defender but he's actually a below-average rebounder, and rebounding is the more important need. Our defensive struggles are mainly related to guard play (except for when we started Sullinger, but that's been fixed).

  • Tos

    Bye Darko.

  • janos

    This very sad and am thoughts Darko isfamilies today

  • CelticsBIG3

    I wish we had at least given him a shot. I was at the home opener, and his 5 minute stint was ugly, but would have liked to see what he could have done to help with rebounding and defense a little. When I saw him sitting on the bench during the Toronto game on Saturday, he was looking pretty pissed off.

    • Phil

      I found this tweet particularly interesting a few days ago:

      @talkhoops @RedsArmy_John Darko's agent was at Nets-Cs, asking BOS people, semi-jokingly, when he'd play. Answer: Muffled/awkward laughter

      I don't think reading between the lines is too complicated. I'm sure there's not much happiness from either side about how the signing is working out. I'd be shocked at this point if he played for the Cs again.

  • Clarenz

    This I would like to happen:

    Trade Green, Lee, Picks and Cash for Smith.
    Trade Bass and Melo for Gortat.
    Sign Kenyon Martin.
    Re-sign Pietrus.

    There you have it. Banner #18. 🙂

    • Vince

      Why not trade Bass for LeBron straight up?

      • Phil

        Bass is already going out in the Gortat trade obviously. Would have to be Kris Joseph and a future 2nd round pick instead.

        • Garrett

          Hey don't be greedy. We should throw Darko in there too.

    • C's fan

      they'd be over the luxury tax.. can't have that

  • Morpheus

    Leaving on a sad note like this just sort of feels wrong for Darko. I felt he could have contributed as a raw, physical shotblocker, rebounding big in limited minutes off the bench for us. I don’t think he was happy with his role or minutes here, oh well on to the next.

  • Montrossdad

    I was shocked to see Collins come in over darko in bk…the two worst centers in the nba? Darko must be pure garbage in practice to get no run.

    I get developing melo with consistent minutes in Portland but he can’t be considerably worse then Collins at this point.

  • Celtics Fan

    Keeping hearing this trade rumor everywhere.
    Josh Smith for..
    Courtney Lee, Brandon Bass, and Fab Melo /or/ Kris Joseph

    Mainly because Barbosa is using Lee's minutes and Sully is using Bass' minutes.

    • The Cardinal

      Stranger things have happened, but the rumor seems like nonsense to me. I don't see how such a trade would help the Hawks at all.

  • noche

    A lot of people throwing out trades these days. Everyone recognizes that the C's can't trade anyone they signed this year until December 15th or three months after they've signed, right? This means no trades involving Lee or Terry could happen until mid-December, and no trades involving Barbosa until January.

  • Morpheus

    Anyone seen JSmoove’s ft% these days…OUCH!!

  • Morpheus

    Also, if Danny can get Marcin then wave his wand and get sneaky and get Zaza from Atlanta, our rebounding problems will be solved.

  • Josh_5

    Anybody else have buyer's remorse from the Bass-Davis trade?

    • MJohnnyboy

      Nope. We got a solid role player for an enigmatic chucker. Glen's getting his shots because he's on an awful team. He's had twice as many shot attempts as Bass this season on average.

      Are you having buyer's remorse from the Lee-Moore deal? Because Moore so far is having a better season than Lee.

    • IBleedGreen


    • geo

      No, Baby hustles and is such a great player, but his jumping ability around the rim is so lackiing. and mark my words, if Bass is still on this team in 2 weeks, he will be leading our team in FG% and rebounds

      • Phil

        Could you imagine the records the Cs could set on own shots blocked with a Sullinger/Big Baby frontcourt?

      • MJohnnyboy

        Well considering he can't be traded until January, I'm pretty sure that's going to happen barring an injury.

    • The Cardinal

      We'd be rebounding even worse (if that's possible) and be worse off offensively. Nope – no buyer's remorse. Sullinger will eventually bring everything that Baby did to the court without: 1) falling in love with the 18 foot jumper, and 2) stumbling around the court each time his shot is blocked.

      Baby contributed while he was here and while I appreciate what he did, we're better off now even if we don't win another game this season! And that goes double for Perk, so don't even go there!!

  • geo

    Smith is gonna be a Celtic within 2 weeks, he is the only player that Bradley is worth dealing for, again Please please please do not trade for The Martian… Welcome Back Delonte West and Leon Powe

    • The Cardinal

      Dude, give it up. Smith ain't all that – why the obsessive jonesing over him? Sheesh…

  • geo

    and getting back to Darko, Doc this is on you bro, you turned Darko into Patrick O'Bryant. you did the same with Semih Erden and Josh Johnson, let people play if even garbage minutes and stop letting talent walk away (Hollins, T.A, Darko, Moore, Hudson, Stiemsma, Wafer). Lester Hudson is a clone of Jrue Holliday who is the next prototypical point guard for the NBA

    • Phil

      Darko, O'Bryant, Semih and Johnson (you mean JaJuan, I assume,) didn't have NBA talent. Unless you're accusing Doc of being a character out of Space Jam, he's not the reason they suck. Just because a guy puts on a Celtics jersey doesn't mean he's not terrible. Hey, Johnson was the top overall pick in the D-League draft though, so there's that.

      Stiemsma and TA were salary casualties (couldn't have kept them if they wanted,) and no one else you mentioned in your entire post is even a 10th man in the NBA. One of Doc's strengths is that he doesn't play people who shouldn't be in the NBA. The Clippers would be a lot better if they didn't waste 15 minutes a game trotting Odom out there. Just like the Cs would have been worse if they played Darko.

      In what world is anyone lamenting the loss of Lester Hudson anyway? Is he even on a roster right now?

    • CelticsBIG3

      Lester Hudson is not a clone of Jrue Holiday. Thats beyond a little ridiculous.

  • Morpheus

    I swear some of these posters are on drugs.