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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

ESPN: The Daily Quickie

Two Words For You:FREE. DARKO.

It's not Darko's fault he's an NBA punch line. In fact, riffing off the ESPN Classic show, here are "Five Reasons You Can't Blame Darko":

(1) Hype: Chad Ford's legacy at ESPN.com might be tied to his bullish pronouncements about Darko, at the time a mysterious Eastern Euro big man with Dirk-ish skills.

(Darko's draft status also coincided with the height of Euro speculation, which didn't just include Ford, but the entire NBA. But how can you really question Pistons GM Joe Dumars?)

(2) Larry Brown: Brown hates rookies. He hates rookies without college experience even more. Dumars underestimated how much playing for Brown could (and would) constrain Darko's development.

(And if you want confirmation of Brown's contribution to Darko's problems, just take a look at the young Knicks this season, the NBA's worst team.)

(3) The 2003 Draft Class: LeBron. Wade. Bosh. Anthony. May go down as the most top-heavy class of all time, making Darko's unfulfilled potential all the more frustrating.

(Keep in mind, most fans howled when the Pistons didn't take Carmelo; today, those critics would be kicking themselves for not taking Wade or Bosh. The lesson? Hindsight is the best draft guru.)

(4) Pistons starters: For Darko's 3 seasons in the NBA, Detroit has been a 3-time NBA Finalist. Four of the starters are All-Stars, with the 5th making a strong case. No young player would have wedged their way in, least of all one with as little experience as Darko.

(Make no mistake: If Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or Carmelo Anthony were drafted by Detroit, Brown would have parked them at the end of the bench, and they would have had as little chance to crack Detroit's lineup as Darko.)

(5) (Well, maybe a little.) There's no widespread perception that Darko is doing the things that make you believe he wants to fulfill his potential. He gripes a lot (but under Brown, wouldn't you?) -- yet everyone who watches him in practice says he is improving.

Hopefully, for Darko's sake, the Magic's deal with the Pistons gets done and he gets a fresh start in a promising young lineup with a defined position, low expectations and a coach willing to give him playing time.

It's not too late for Darko.

And it's not all his fault.

7 Comments:

  • At 5:29 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Please magic,do the deal,we need healthy players,cato for darko & arroyo is two for one!

     
  • At 8:23 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Very good points, introvert316. Darko is just too young at 20 yrs old to say that he is never going to make it in the NBA.

    As an example, let me use Jermaine O'Neal of the Pacers. He was drafted right out of high school by Portland in 1996, played 4 seasons with Portland, and never averaged more than 4.5 pts per game a season in those 4 seasons, and averaged only 11-12 minutes per game. His first season with Indiana, he was given over 32 minutes of playing time per game, and his scoring averaged went up to nearly 13 pts a game. Now, O'Neal has averaged over 20 pts a game the last 4 yrs and also 10 rebs per game, is only 27 yrs old, and will be in his prime for many more years (provided he can stay healthy).

    Now, I'm not suggesting that Darko's career would take off like that if he were traded to the Magic, but with increased playing time, I'm sure that he could show that he is a heckuva player and that all he needed was playing time to show what he could do.

     
  • At 9:25 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Here we go again. Joe Dumars pulled a fast one on Wise Otis. We took a high-priced PG that we don't need with the glut of PGs that we have in addition to giving DET a protected first round pick. It's not for this year's draft and it is protected for 5th or higher pick in 2007 and not protected at all in 2008. Don't forget three points: 1) We dumped a player that would have been off of our books by next year without us raising a finger; 2) Arroyo is not worth 4 million and not easy to move … thus we are stuck with him for the next 2 years; 3) If Magic picks in the top 5 in 2007, their first round pick in 2008 regardless of the spot goes to DET. What a moron?

     
  • At 10:16 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    All the reports collaborate that if 2007 pick is 5th or higher thus going to Orlando, DET receives 2008 pick regardless of the spot. When asked about it in the press conference Otis was not clear and insinuated that DET gets nothing in 2008. Would be interesting to know what the truth is.

     
  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, I agree that the Magic have too many point guards now... maybe another trade is in the works?

    But I'm thrilled with the arrival of Darko!

     
  • At 11:26 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Who wants Arroyo for 4 million a year 2 years after this season?

     
  • At 12:51 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I'm thrilled... Darko is coming to town. Arroyo is coming, which means Francis is as good as gone. This is the first move in the right direction. The Magic were smart about protecting this years pick. And honestly, I don't care if we gave up a conditional first round pick. There is just as much if not more of a risk that the pick wouldn't work out in comparison to Arroyo and Darko. I'm glad it's done. That made my night, after a joke of a game on all sides, Magic, Heat, and refs...

    As far as Arroyo, I'll take him... I'm not crazy about his game, but he kind of plays streetball. God knows this team can use any attitude it can get. His family lives in FL, who knows, maybe it'll work out. I really don't think 4 million means he's overpaid. Garrity makes 3+, Dooling is making over 3, Francis is maxed out, Cato is making 8, therefore EVERYONE in the NBA is overpaid. So honestly, cut the Magic a break, because I feel they made a nice deal. I know everyone is used to bitching about this team, management, but I just can't be so pessimistic when there hasn't even been a chance for results.

     

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