I'm being facetious. A little. Lenn Robbins of the Post had the chance to speak with Donnie Walsh before a New York Statues of Liberty Ladies Basketball Club game last night, and recorded some choice quips from the boss regarding Darko- or should I say Dark'o?- Milicic.
"He was a very skilled player when he was drafted," Walsh said of Milicic before last night's Liberty game, where he was honored as a Rucker Park Pro Legend. "I think the thing that's held him back is he's been thought of as a guy that has to play with his back to the basket. And everywhere he's been, people have tried to do that.
"I don't think that will be the case here," Walsh added. "The way [coach] Mike [D'Antoni] plays, the fact that he's a skilled, fairly athletic, long big man who can run the floor and can dribble the ball, shoot the ball, pass the ball, he might fit into this system better. That's what I'm hoping."
Now, I'd be silly to imply that Darko will be anywhere as meaningful to the Knicks as Amar'e Stoudemire was to D'Antoni's Suns, but he could certainly do his best impression. I can picture him being utilized primarily through the pick-and-roll, with his dual abilities to shoot and finish putting opposing big men in a pickle. That role would set him apart from Eddy Curry, whose back-to-the-basket moves are his calling card. In fact, if David Lee doesn't re-sign (li'l update on that front), I could see Eddy 'n' Darko more as complementary parts than competitors. A Curry/Milicic frontcourt might just be crazy enough to work.* Anyway, there are a lot of variables, but these statements from Walsh only stoke my growing optimism that New York might finally be the launching pad for Darko Milicic. A coach who caters to his skillset might be just the thing for someone whose bust status is now legendary. The tape suggests that Donnie might be on to something:
*Granted, this is coming from the person who once said "a Curry/Randolph frontcourt might just be crazy enough to work", as well as "the Jerome James signing might just be crazy enough to work", and "cooking pizza in the toaster might just be crazy enough to work".