Do you remember the person from your last middle or high school basketball team with the longest arms? Okay, weird question, I know. How about the one who could make the most unguarded 3-pointers alone in a gym? Me either, on both counts; I may even have been the latter guy, I don’t know. But That Guy — or who That Guy would be if you grew up outside of Novi Sad, Serbia — just got PAID. Memphis Grizzlies fans, if you liked Stromile Swift, wait until you get a load of the Serbian-Montenegrin Stromile Swift, only with frostier tips and less dunking. As with all things Darko Milicic, Chad Ford is there first at ESPN, reporting that Darkman 2 (peace, Larry Drake) has signed on with the Grizzlies for a three-year hitch. Marc Cornstein, come on kick it!
“We are extremely excited for this new opportunity,” Cornstein said. “Darko’s going to a team that really wants him. He’s going to a young team with an exciting bright future much like his own. We’re very excited Darko gets to learn from coach Marc Iavaroni. We believe he’s one of the best big men coaches in the game. And we couldn’t be happier that he has found a new home where he’s appreciated.”
Milicic was recently waived by the Orlando Magic to clear the cap room necessary to sign Rashard Lewis.
“Memphis has really pursued Darko since the moment he became an unrestricted free agent last week,” Cornstein said. “And I’m grateful for the opportunity they’ll be providing for Darko at this stage of his career.”
Milicic was traded to the Magic in February of 2006 and began to turn around his career. He averaged eight points and 5.5 rebounds in 23 minutes per game for the Magic last season. But he upped his average to 12.3 points per game in the playoffs this year.
I don’t know, it seemed like Cornstein was kind of sticking it to Orlando a little bit, there. With a career stat sheet that looks like this, it’s hard to imagine why the Magic might’ve treated Darko somewhat disimissively. I know Darko’s 7-foot and was the second pick in the best NBA Draft in recent memory and all, but if we’re just going by stats then Portland acquiring James Jones is a much bigger deal.