“I stopped chasing the dream of being the second pick a long time ago,” said Milicic on Friday at the Celtics’ practice facility in Waltham.
Milicic was drafted second overall by the Detroit Pistons in 2003, but he never panned out as the Pistons had hoped. In two-plus seasons in Detroit, Milicic played in just 96 games while averaging less than two points per game. He was traded mid-season in 2006 to the Orlando Magic and has traveled a bunch over the last few seasons, spending time in Memphis, New York and Minnesota.
Moving from team to team so often, it was no surprise when Milicic was asked how he got to Boston. His response? By plane.
The Celtics announced that they signed the seven-foot big man to an undisclosed contract Friday, hence the reason to fly to Boston. It will be another fresh start for Milicic and he’s happy to now be playing on a championship-caliber team.
“Playing for Minnesota last year, they have a good team now, but playing for a losing team and actually having some issues with the coaches,” said Milicic. “Now I have the chance to play for a championship team. It’s unbelievable.”
Playing in Boston allows Milicic to catch passes from All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who he’s excited to play alongside of.
“It’s going to be fun playing with all of these guys, but him [Rondo] especially,” said Milicic. “A point guard like that, that has unbelievable passes that is going to find you. If you’re open for a second he’s going to find you. It’s great, it’s great playing with him already.”
This upcoming season will be Milicic’s best chance to win a championship ring in a long time. He’s played for several losing teams and knows that he has to be a team-player now more than ever if he wants to win.
“I’m going to do my best to get my minutes, but like you said before, it’s not about me,” said Milicic. “It’s about the team.”