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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 20, 2005 / 13 Sivan, 5765

The view from the end of the bench

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Perspiration. Most people avoid it. Some dream of it. Darko Milicic of the Detroit Pistons does. Night after night, he dreams of sweat, of leaving the court with a soaking jersey and dripping hair. Instead, he exits as dry as when he entered. He takes a shower "because it is routine." Then he goes home to Rochester Hills, Mich., and puts on a Serbian movie and tries to sleep.

Same movie. Every night.

"It is film about life in my country," he says, "a true story movie about young kids and things they have to go through."

Why do you watch it?

"Because it's what I go through, too."

Imagine, for a moment, that you are this young man. You left your home when you were 14. You began a life of sports teams and travel, trying to earn money. All around you saw civil war, destruction, the crumbling of old systems in what used to be Yugoslavia. When you played games, the anger spilled into the stands. "People would throw rags, even cell phones," he says. "Sometimes, you have to lose because after the game you want to live."

You endure all this, then you come to America, where your size (7 feet tall) and potential make you the second person chosen in the NBA draft. Only LeBron James goes ahead of you. The doors swing open. Stardom seems imminent. You pull on the uniform.

And you sit. And you sit.

And you dream of sweat.

Scoring isn't a reason to celebrate.

Darko Milicic, in these NBA Finals, is the only player still in his teens. But after two full seasons in the NBA, he feels, he says, "a lot older." He is the last man off the Detroit bench, used only when things are hopeless or hapless. On Thursday, in Game 4, he entered a blowout Pistons victory. He scored a basket, his first in a championship series. For most players, that would be momentous. "I don't want to comment on one basket," he says.

For two years, "Darko" has been synonymous with "experiment." It hasn't helped that players drafted after him — such as Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade — have become stars in the league, while he seems to stagnate in time, the body of a giant, the face of a boy band singer.

He sees other foreign players making huge impacts in these Finals: Manu Ginobili from Argentina, Tony Parker from France. It bothers him.

"Hey, the kid is 19," Pistons executive Joe Dumars warns. "When Tony Parker was 19, he wasn't out there. When Ginobili was 19, he wasn't out there."

It doesn't appease Darko. He says he is embarrassed when he finally comes off the bench and the crowd cheers in sympathetic delight.

"You are sitting two hours on bench and when you come in you almost can't move," he says. "For me it's like I did not play at all."

There are fans at these NBA Finals who are thrilled to have a ticket. There are veteran players who are thrilled to have a chance.

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But youth is impatient. It sees only what it isn't getting. Darko refers to last year as "lost" and this year as the same. Will next year be different?

"It must be," he says.

We hear all about the enthusiasm of these Pistons, who are knocking once again on the championship door. But the bench is long. Darko is happy for his teammates and they are encouraging to him, but when the game is over and they are hanging with their families, Darko goes back home and pops in that movie. He doesn't call his family in Serbia and Montenegro after games. "I don't really feel like talking to anybody," he says. "If I call" in that mood "maybe they think I am mad at them."

He is only mad at circumstance. You see it in his eyes. You hear it in his swallowed voice. Monday is his birthday. He turns 20, no longer a teen. Some would call him lucky. Some would call him spoiled. Some would call him misused.

I'd call him young — and restless.

And dry.

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