You never thought to hear it from me, did you?
Well, I have made up my mind, definitely.
The occasion? Well, for starters, my home country's national team, Serbia, got eliminated last night by Israel (WTF!??) from the European Championship in Spain with three losses, zero victory. We are officially today at the bottom of the list of European teams. Five years ago we were world champions in Indiannapolis, where we beat the USA in the quarterfinals and Argentina in the finals.
We did lack our best players - our team that DIDN'T PLAY included Peja, Krstic, Radmanovic, Pavlovic and Rakocevic amongst others, but we had Darko at center and one of Europe's top schooters Milan Gurovic, leading a bunch of 8 first timers in the national team, a fairly young group. We didn't suck in the preparations. At all.
How did the new Memphis Grizzly do? The title of my post sums it up nicely, but it need elaboration.
1. In the course of the last two months, from the begginning of the preparations, he was constantly giving stupid statements, boasting that Serbia had a young fearless squad that is going to take everyone by the balls, gave idiotic nationalist statements, was spotted on multiple occasions at 3 AM in downtown Belgrade (that's our capital city) in his fancy car, never stopped talking about referees (in an interview he said "I don't like the referees. -Why? -Because they're bad persons. They just want to mess you up." ???)
He was our best player in the preparations though.
But then came the Euro and the first game against Kirilenko's Russia. Darko played probably the worst game of his life (for the national team) and displayed a wide range of stupid, retarded moves and decisions in offense - since we are deprived of our best players, he's suddenly the go-to-guy. Now, for some weird reason - I suspect it's because he has bulked up considerably, he's bigger than ever - his offensive moves don't include fadeaway jumpers and double step penetrations anymore (he used to use them in Japan last year pretty effectively); all he does is taking the ball and going to the basket without any finesse, just relying on his physique. It's now working very well and the Russians constantly double teamed him.
Darko just like missed badly or made a turnover on nearly every occasion, completely disrupting the offensive rythm of his team and not showing any remorse. In defense, he was a non-factor. AK killed us (he's averaging 17,7 pts, 14 rebs and 2 blocks so far).
The second game against Greece Darko was better, but still made countless stupid decisions and acted generally like a punk. We lost in overtime after some questionnable refereeing and in front of the locker room, Darko cursed loudly at the refs, saying "How the hell they think they are these ****ers, They can suck my dick, I will ****ing kill them, this Italian, I hear he has a daughter, I will **** her too". It made the headlines everywhere (see article below)
Here's the video, he's actually saying this in the camera of a Serbian TV station, he's a crazy ****. http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/...nemous-tirade/
and people in Serbia found their new villain.
FIBA fined him 10000 EUR falling short of disqualifying his ass from the tournament (they should have), after he apologized that he was "emotional after the poor refereeing and the lost game and he did not know what he was talking about". Pathetic.
In the third game, despite his solid stats (he averaged 14,7 points and just under 10 rebs along with 3 blocks per game), we were eliminated by Israel and posted the worst result in our country's history since 1947. After having previously said that we could even aim for the gold, Darko said "This is the maximum of this team."
The guy is a serious, unrecoverable head case. Had he not been one, he would be an all star today. He would use his physical and other assets to the best and be a 18/10/3 player at the age of 22.
Instead, he uses 40 % of what he can do, makes poor decisions, does not try hard enough, badmouths the referees, can't score in other ways than bullying opponents into the basket, can't hit two free throws in a row, is less effective in shotblocking because he's been hitting weights, does not care and does not hide it, never smiles during the game and plainly seems to be evolving into a BAD PERSON.
I never thought I would say this, but I have been amazed with how he has regressed in the past year. He was very good last summer in Japan, but he just seems lost in his head. Needs a serious mentor, but I doubt he will find one. The grizzlies are mad for paying him 7M per year, after this debacle at the Euro, people here hate him and for a good reason. I simply think he is mentally limited to reach his potential.
There, I said it. I'm not sad for Serbia because we need to rebuild. When we bring Krstic to play alongside Darko in two years - we did not qualify for the Olympics needless to say - it will be better. But our U-16, U-18, U-19 and U-21 national teams are European and World champions this summer (four gold medals, a record) and we have a bright future. I just hope that our new talents will have more brains and heart than Darko.