Darko Milicic turned 31 years old on June 20 and I messed up big time by forgetting to put that in my calendar on my iPhone so happy belated birthday Darko Milicic. With that in mind, the 13th anniversary of the 2003 NBA Draft is rapidly approaching so let’s take a look back at the lottery picks of one of the all-time great drafts in honor of Darko’s big day.
1. LeBron James, St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School – Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James has been rendered irrelevant in Cleveland due to the emergence of Johnny Football as the city’s true savior.
2. Darko Milicic, Serbia – Detroit Pistons
I could write 10,000 words on birthday boy Darko Milicic, but I won’t. The single greatest feat of the 21st century may be that the 2003 Detroit Pistons managed to win the NBA Finals despite drafting Darko Milicic with the second overall pick that same year. You screw up that bad in the draft and you usually end up like the Clippers after drafting Michael Olowokandi.
The deal with Darko Milicic was that he was never good. There’s really no other way to look at it. Even when starting 69 games for the Timberwolves in 2010, Darko could only muster up 8.8 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game. That was the best season of his career. The guy was 7 feet tall, weighed 275 pounds, barely ever even stepped foot outside of the paint, and had a career field goal percentage of 46%. He’s basically the reason why so many teams hate drafting foreign players.
Here he is scoring points for the opposing team:
And here he is ripping his Grizzlies jersey in half like Hulk Hogan:
After retiring from professional basketball in 2013, he decided to show off his really strange tattoos and give kickboxing a shot. Skip to like the 3:10 mark and you can see him get disqualified for bleeding too much.
Darko should really try going pro in something other than sports.
Happy birthday Darko.
3. Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse – Denver Nuggets
A nine-time All-Star and NBA scoring champion, Carmelo Anthony has less NBA Championship rings than Darko MIlicic and plays for the Knicks.
4. Dwyane Wade, Marquette – Miami Heat
Dwayne Wade is one of two 2003 NBA draftees to still be playing for the team that drafted him. While with the Heat, Wade has put together a Hall of Fame-caliber career and won three championship rings. Wade now mainly serves the purpose of messing up my DraftKings lineup when he decides to randomly sit out ten minutes before the game starts.
5. Chris Bosh, Georgia Tech – Toronto Raptors
A two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, Bosh’s career is sadly now in jeopardy due to a recurrence of blood clots.
On the court, the 6-foot-11 Bosh is known for his strong mid-range jumper, excellent athleticism, and quickness that presents mismatch problems for slower big men. Off the court, Bosh is known for being an epic video bomber and looking like a dinosaur.
6. Chris Kaman, Central Michigan – Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Kaman wasted away the majority of his career with the Clippers and has barely even sniffed the NBA Playoffs. The one-time NBA All-Star is now a White Walker on Game of Thrones.
7. Kirk Hinrich, Kansas – Chicago Bulls
During Hinrich’s rookie season, I was at the mall and Kirk Hinrich just happened to be signing autographs to promote the opening of some mattress store. He signed a picture for me. That’s the most vivid memory I have of Kirk Hinrich.
8. T.J. Ford, Texas – Milwaukee Bucks
A star point guard at Texas, T.J. Ford’s career was unfortunately cut short when he was eaten by #9 overall pick Michael Sweetney.
9. Michael Sweetney, Georgetown – New York Knicks
Michael Sweetney was drafted by the Knicks out of Georgetown and traded to the Bulls after only 42 games in a Knicks uniform for Eddy Curry. Here was the vessel used to transport both players to their new teams:
Sweetney fizzled out of the NBA by 2008 due to ineffectiveness and weight issues. Sweetney then embarked on an international career where he was photographed in Puerto Rico looking even larger than he was during his NBA playing days.
Sweetney was last spotted playing center for Team City of Gods in The Basketball Tournament in 2015.
10. Jarvis Hayes, Georgia – Washington Wizards
The only time I’ve ever really thought about Jarvis Hayes was when I used to mix him up with Chuck Hayes in NBA 2K. Coincidentally, the only time I ever thought about Chuck Hayes was when I used too mix him up with Jarvis Hayes in NBA 2K. I’m still not entirely convinced that they aren’t the same person.
The 6-foot-8 forward was largely a bench player in his seven seasons with the Wizards, Pistons, and Nets. He ended up going the Andray Blatche route and was naturalized as citizen of Qatar to play for the Qatari National Team. Currently, he plays professionally in Romania. You now know more than you ever needed to know about Jarvis Hayes.
11. Mickael Pietrus, France – Golden State Warriors
‘Air France’ Mickael Pietrus never really lived up to his moniker during his 11-year NBA career, but did establish himself as a solid bench player. Pietrus will probably best be remembered for his strong play that helped the Orlando Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009 before losing to the Lakers. The 34-year-old still plays professionally in France.
12. Nick Collison, Kansas – Seattle SuperSonics
Well here’s the other player besides Dwyane Wade who is still with his original team from the 2003 NBA Draft. How does one sum up Nick Collison’s NBA career with the Sonics/Thunder?
A Rick Ross mix of Nick Collison setting ball screens and taking charges of course:
13. Marcus Banks, UNLV – Memphis Grizzlies (traded to Boston Celtics)
Gun to my head, I would’ve said this was a character on the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Thankfully, I don’t have a gun to my head and instead have the power of Wikipedia to help me out here. His Wikipedia page actually says that he played in Alaska for an entire decade:
I found this to be interesting, yet completely fabricated so well done Marcus Banks’ Wikipedia page hacker … you have gotten away with the crime of the century.
The point guard actually played for five NBA teams over eight seasons, but rarely saw the NBA hardwood after the 2005-2006 season. As of 2016, he was playing his professional ball in Lebanon.
14. Luke Ridnour
What to say about Luke Ridnour that hasn’t already been said? Well, he’s carved out a pretty solid career for himself as that guy you really don’t want as your starting point guard, but love to have as your back-up. Ridnour is a fine player in his own right, but has rarely found himself on a competitive team having served the Sonics, Bucks, and Timberwolves for most of his career.
Ridnour does hold the dubious distinction though of being traded four times in a span of six days nearly a year ago in 2015; Magic to Grizzlies to Hornets to Thunder to Raptors. After all that, he was waived by the Raptors and decided to sit out the 2015-2016 season. That’s like stuff you do when you’re running Association Mode in 2K and have no regard for humanity because the guys you are dealing with are just computer simulations of real people. They’re essentially robots and I learned from that one Spongebob episode that robots don’t have feelings so its fine to do this.
This is real life Luke Ridnour though! And these NBA teams were just passing him around like a joint. I don’t blame him. Sit out the goddman season. Good for you, Luke. There’s probably a team in Qatar that would die for your back-up point guard services and then gladly naturalize you as a citizen.
Enjoy the 2016 NBA Draft Thursday night.