Darko Milicic is the owner of a Detroit Pistons 2004 NBA championship ring. While his time in a Pistons uniform would best be considered lackluster, he did manage to collect a ring while cleaning up minutes off the bench that season. Thankfully the Darko period of Pistons history is behind us, but one incredible gesture should make us at least rethink Milicic’s career in Detroit.
News came on Wednesday out of Minnesota that Darko will donate his championship ring, and his championship belt from Rasheed Wallace, in order to raise money for children with Batten’s disease. Sparked from a news story he read in his native Serbia, Darko has yet again been driven to action by the inspirational stories of others.
Incredible enough, the other inspiration came from the most unlikely of sources – Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers.
It was Artest that used the funds from his 2010 Lakers ring for mental health programs within education. Darko isn’t a newcomer as a charitable athlete (he flew four children to china for stem cell treatment), but he is crediting Artest for the push and the idea behind this move.
Will this gesture by Darko be enough to stem the frustration or anger from Pistons fans? That likely won’t change anytime soon, no matter how much his play has improved in another uniform. The 2004 championship distracted fans away from his developmental ways, and hopefully this latest gesture will begin to make us all take into account an athlete’s character as well as their athletic abilities.