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Chauncey Billups tells funny Darko Milicic shower story

Feb 10, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Chauncey Billups (right) shakes hands Isiah Thomas during the halftime retirement ceremony in the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-No. 2 pick Darko Milicic is one of the most maligned figures in modern NBA history, but former teammate Chauncey Billups is shedding some light on the cultural divide that helped prevent Milicic from reaching his potential.

In a recent feature on Milicic by Sam Borden of ESPN, Billups, who played with the Serb for three seasons on the Detroit Pistons, told a funny story about having to teach Milicic the proper showering customs of American sports.

More from Borden:

At first, he was just a teenager, an ocean away from home in a culture he didn’t understand. For example, Darko would go home to shower after practices or games instead of staying in the locker room to clean up; he didn’t realize that in America, the players all showered together.

“So I had to teach Darko,” says Chauncey Billups, who played in Detroit from 2002-08, “like, no, when we’re done playing, when we’re done practicing, you put your towel on and you go get in the shower. That’s what we do here.”

While that anecdote doesn’t sound nearly as bad as the showering habits of another infamous draft bust, it’s at least an insight into the complexities of why Darko ultimately failed in the NBA. And while he did win a championship ring with the Pistons in 2004, the now-32-year-old Milicic will always have us wondering what more could have been with him.

Yardbarker: NBA