BELGRADE, Serbia >> Former Serbian center Darko Milicic, known as one of the biggest flops in the history of the NBA draft, is switching from basketball to kickboxing.
The 29-year-old Milicic, who has been without an NBA contract for nearly two years, signed a deal on Wednesday with the World Kickboxing Association to be both its promoter and a competitor.
The 7-foot, 250-pound Milicic, who the Pistons made the second overall pick in the 2003 draft behind LeBron James, spent the first years of his 10 NBA seasons with Detroit winning the 2004 NBA title. He also played for Orlando, Memphis, New York, Minnesota and Boston.
Milicic said that he got interested in kickboxing when over a year ago he came across a humanitarian campaign that was raising funds by auctioning a kickboxing world title belt.
“When I got home, I told myself: ‘why buy it if you can win it’?”
“I won’t go deep into this (kickboxing) if I cannot be devoted to it 100 percent,” Milicic said. “We will see what happens.”
In 2003, Detroit bypassed Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade to take Milicic as the second overall pick.