Q+A Darko Milicic

December 08, 2003

The 18-year-old Yugoslavian-born forward and the No. 2 pick in
the NBA draft--between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony--has
played in just seven games for the Pistons.

SI: You're still waiting for your first basket. Is it coming
soon?

Milicic: I hope, but nobody knows. It may be a month. It may be
awhile. Who knows? But I hope.

SI: How tough is it to sit on the bench?

Milicic: Coming from where I play 30 minutes, this is not easy.
But I know I got to wait for my chance. I tell the guys they are
playing hard. That's my job for now.

SI: Back home your nickname is Surda, after a Yugoslavian movie
character. Do you have a nickname yet in the U.S.?

Milicic: Here they call me Darko. I don't like nicknames,
actually. But if they find something, I just better listen
[laughs].

SI: Talk any trash on the court yet?

Milicic: No, I don't like this. For me, it is play and shut up.

SI: Do you follow how LeBron and Carmelo are doing?

Milicic: Yes, I know. They are doing very well. I meet them in
Chicago before draft. They are very smart guys. They know how to
play basketball.

SI: What's been the best thing about the NBA so far?

Milicic: The best thing? I am 18, and just coming here is like
big time for me. I'm very happy about this.

SI: Since you're not playing that much, practice must be pretty
important to you?

Milicic: Yes, very important. I am trying to play hard every
practice, trying to help my teammates. It is not easy because
there are five coaches, and 10 times they are trying to tell me
something. It's not easy for me, but I am trying to listen to
everybody.

SI: You just got your driver's license. Any problems?

Milicic: I pass driver's test two weeks ago. It was easy. Here
it is automatic. In Yugoslavia, manual.

SI: You're a big fan of rap and plenty of NBA guys--Allen
Iverson, Shaq--have been in rap lyrics. Do you think a rapper
will ever drop your name in a song?

Milicic: Well, we will see. But I really like 50 Cent and Snoop
Dogg, so let them know. --Richard Deitsch

For more from Darko Milicic, go to si.com/siexclusive

COLOR PHOTO: NATHANIEL S. BUTLER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (MILICIC) Doesn't talk trash

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