Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/12
Doc Rivers saw a change in Darko Milicic a few weeks ago, almost as soon as the veteran center found out that his mother was ill. It was one thing for Milicic to deal with some professional setbacks with the Celtics, having played a grand total of five minutes all season. Adding personal angst made it even tougher. "His mom's sick, he's not playing, the homesickness, it happens," the Celtics coach said on Tuesday. "I didn't fight him much. I told him he's got to do what he thinks is right and I'm going to support him one way or the other. But it's been going on for a little bit now." Milicic opted to return to Europe to be with his mother, raising the possibility that this could be the end of the road for the former No. 2 overall draft pick not just with the Celtics, but with the NBA itself. Rivers did not discourage that line of thinking when he was asked if Milicic plans to return to Boston. "It doesn't look like it," Rivers said. If Milicic indeed is finished, it would bring to an end one of the most discouraging careers in NBA history. Billed as a can't-miss prospect as an 18-year-old out of Serbia, Milicic was chosen second in the 2003 NBA draft -- after LeBron James but before Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, as well as future All-Star David West, future Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa and several other players who went on to productive professional careers. Milicic hardly got off the bench as a rookie with the Pistons, who went on to win the NBA championship by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. In 10 seasons, Milicic averaged 6.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game with the Pistons, Magic, Grizzlies, Knicks, Timberwolves and Celtics. Within moments of the news breaking on Monday that Milicic would leave the team, Celtics fans on Twitter began clamoring for team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to sign Kenyon Martin. Martin, who turns 35 years old on Dec. 30, appeared in 42 games last season with the Los Angeles Clippers but is currently unsigned. The Celtics have no quick moves in the works, however. "No rush," Rivers said. "I can tell you we're in no rush." Milicic did not get much of a chance to contribute to the Celtics this season, but hopefully that does not keep Boston fans from wishing him and his mother the best. Some things are more important than basketball.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chiefs release C.J. Spiller for 4th time in 2017

Report: Suns send Eric Bledsoe home, trade viewed as likely

Steelers reportedly have no plans to trade, discipline Bryant

Joe Thomas says he will consider NFL future in offseason

Dwyane Wade volunteers to come off bench for Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fifteen biggest surprises so far in 2017-18 NBA season

Vikings don’t want Bridgewater playing on London field?

Mixon: ‘I can do way more’ than Le’Veon Bell with more touches

Top World Series storylines

Urban Meyer has the highest praise for Saquon Barkley

Report: Darnold 'unlikely to leave' USC after 2017 season

The 'Best offense is a good defense' quiz

Path to the 2017 World Series - Houston Astros

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Best offense is a good defense' quiz

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Houston Astros hold off Yankees, forcing Game 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker