Detroit Pistons’ season countdown: 31 days for #31

Darko Milicic #31 of the Orlando Magic and Chris Webber #84 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Darko Milicic #31 of the Orlando Magic and Chris Webber #84 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons are just over a week away from training camp and the official start to the 2023-24 season.

The Pistons will start their regular season schedule on October 25th, so we are just over a month away from seeing meaningful basketball.

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There are still plenty of questions about the roster, starting lineup and bench roles, but we’ll start to get answers to them soon.

We are now just 31 days from Detroit Pistons’ basketball, and continuing our season countdown series, we’ll turn to a #31 who is remembered for all of the wrong reasons.

Detroit Pistons’ season countdown: 31 days for #31

The number 31 hasn’t been kind to the Detroit Pistons over the years, as it has been worn by players like Charlie Villanueva and most famously by draft bust Darko Milicic.

We all know the story by now, the Pistons were already a contender but lucked into the number two pick from a previous trade. It was a historically good draft, so Detroit had a chance to add a very good player to a roster that won a title that season.

Unfortunately, the Pistons took Darko Milicic, passing on Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in the process. This pick is now widely considered one of the worst draft picks of all time and set off a flurry of bad draft days for the Pistons.

None of this is Milicic’s fault of course, as he was overrated as a prospect and never had a chance to establish a role for himself in Detroit on a team whose frontcourt was already loaded. Milici averaged 1.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in 96 games for the Pistons before being unceremoniously shipped out of town for a first-round pick that eventually became Rodney Stuckey.

Milicic bounced around the NBA, never really making a mark, though he did get a couple of nice paydays. He’ll forever be remembered as the bust from the LeBron draft, and the pick that prevented a possible Detroit dynasty.

But here’s to you Darko, I wish things would have worked out better for you in Detroit and I hope things go well in all of your future endeavors.

Next. 12 players the Pistons signed who were past their prime. dark