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NBA Draft: International backlash?

With top young international rookies like Darko Milicic mired on the bench, will this year's crop of foreign draft hopefuls feel a backlash?

Originally Published: December 5, 2003
By By Chad Ford | NBA Insider
NEW YORK -- The scene at Madison Square Garden was something out of a Kofi Annan or Tony Ronzone perfect dream -- the UN of NBA hoops.

Standing alone on the court taking jumpers an hour and a half before the Knicks-Pistons game on Monday was 18-year-old Darko Milicic, the youngest and highest-drafted player ever from Europe.

Within minutes he was joined by fellow Serbian Slavko Vranes, a 19-year-old, 7-foot-6 center for the New York Knicks. Right behind him was 18-year-old Polish big Maciej Lampe, another rookie with the Knicks.

They stopped, hugged, laughed and asked each other the most important question of the evening.

"Hey, why aren't you playing Maciej?" Darko says with smile.

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