The 2003 NBA draft was one of the best of all-time, and it included several Hall-of-Fame players but also one of the biggest draft busts of all time. Darko Milicic was drafted that year before Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, to mention the few, and even though he stayed in the NBA for a decade, he never had a career worthy of a second draft pick.
One of the biggest reasons why Milicic underachieved in his career was the fact that he didn’t have what it takes mentally to become a great player. He came to the league as an 18-year-old playing for the Detroit Pistons, who were competing for a championship, which limited his playing time and afterward affected him personally.
In a recent show for the local news, Milicic shared a crazy anecdote from his life when he bought a yacht after literally a couple of minutes, and it was the first time he saw one. The boat, just like Milicic, didn’t have a brilliant career.
My friend invited me to come on his boat on Michigan Lake during the summer. When I saw how nice it was, I immediately went to the store, and I entered the part where they had all the smaller ships. I ask the seller: Is there something bigger? I enter the other hall; there was a blue yacht, some 15-16 meters, I point at it and say: You will give me this. The seller asks: How do you mean? You want me to show you specifications, performance?
Who cares about the performance, write a check, and put it in the water. Later, my bookkeeper calls me, and he asks: What have you bought now, you have spent all your money… and I tell him, “Relax, the salary is coming in on the 15th this month. The yacht cost me 700,000. I drove it five times, knocked it in shallow waters, broke it and sold it after a month, lost 300 thousand dollars, and that’s it.”
Milicic is now 33 years old and has found a new life after basketball, living, and working on his farm. He said the NBA lifestyle never really interested him; however, he did admit he did a lot of things wrong, and frustration with his playing time and different culture were a big reason for that.