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free darko

Appreciating Darko Milicic

Yeah, imagine how he'll look in a Knicks jersey.

We're not sure Knicks fans are appropriately excited that Darko Milicic is playing for the team this year. It's Darko! Come on, guys, we have Darko!

We don't buy basketball jerseys because we are a dorky white person, and dorky white people look helplessly dorky and white when they're wearing basketball jerseys. (Amusingly, the axiom actually applies to Darko!) But if we bought a Knicks jersey, we would buy a Darko jersey. Here's why.

He's Darko! He has already secured his place in history as the guy drafted ahead of Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. His name will forever be synonymous with GMs overthinking their draft strategies, overrating a mysterious overseas talent, and generally not being able to see the nose on their face. (Darko, of course, also inspired the great Free Darko site.) How many players currently on the Knicks can you say with 100 percent certainty will be remembered in 25 years? That's right: just Darko.

He's Not That Bad! Sure, he can't really score, and it is possible that Dwyane Wade is a wee bit better than he is, but he is a solid defender and shot blocker and is kind of perfect for coach Mike D'Antoni's style of play. Certainly better than Quentin Richardson, the guy he was traded for, the way he's playing these days.

He Has More Rings Than LeBron. It's true. He has one, with the Pistons, in 2004. Maybe it's the Cavs who made the mistake, eh? Eh? Who's with us?

He Will Murder the Referees and [Expletive] Their Daughters. Darko's outburst after a Serbian loss to Greece back in 2007 remains epic two years later. He also kept calling the refs "pichka," which "refers to the female genitalia."

This Is Probably It for Him. Darko's contract is up after this year — that is, after all, why the Knicks have him — and he has spoken openly of returning to Europe and leaving this dirty NBA business once and for all after the season is over. There's only one year left to appreciate Darko, and we have him right here at the Garden.

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Photo: Getty Images