Spurs take Serbia’s Milutinov at number 26
Eighteen years to the day after selecting Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs chose another former swimmer in the first round of the NBA draft by taking Serbia’s Nikola Milutinov with selection 26 on Thursday.
Milutinov was a promising swimmer with Olympic aspirations when he said he was literally run out of the pool. Two bullies pushed a 12-year-old Milutinov off the side of pool, nearly breaking his jaw. He began playing basketball two days later and has since become one of the top European centers.
The 20-year-old averaged 10.1 points and 7.7 rebounds last season while playing for Partizan in the EuroCup and Adriatic and Serbian leagues.
The Spurs used the No. 1 selection in 1997 to select Duncan, who also held Olympic aspirations as a swimmer before turning to basketball.