Carmelo Anthony continues to reminisce on what it would have been like if he was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 2003 NBA draft. Everyone knew that LeBron James would be the No. 1 overall pick and go to his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. But who the Detroit Pistons would take with the No. 2 pick was up in the air with players like Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony available?
Anthony believes that if the Pistons took him, he would have multiple championships. Something that NBA fans have always thought about.
“Maybe two or three rings”
No one could predict that the Pistons would take Darko Milicic. But the Pistons did win a championship the year after drafting Milicic.
In an Instagram live featuring former NBA star Dwayne Wade and Anthony, they talked about the 2003 NBA draft. During their conversation, Wade said that he had no idea who Milicic was before the draft. Milicic played in the league for 10 seasons. In 468 games, he averaged 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Anthony wasn’t sure of the type of player he would be if he went to Detroit, but he was sure of one thing. “I don’t know what I would have been if I had went to Detroit,” Anthony said. “I know I would have maybe two or three rings.” We’ll never know if Anthony would have won multiple titles if he played with Detroit. But Anthony had a successful career playing for the team that drafted him, the Denver Nuggets.
Playing with the Nuggets helped Anthony become the player that he came to be over the years. Though he didn’t win a championship, a was one of the top players in the league for a good portion of his career.
Would the Pistons have won a title or two with Anthony?
Even though the Pistons drafted Milicic, the team had success. After drafting Milicic, the Pistons added Rasheed Wallace to the team, and that changed the team’s culture for the better. The Pistons were crowned 2004 NBA champs and went back to the finals in 2005, losing to the San Antonio Spurs.
The Pistons weren’t looking to pick Anthony, Wade, or Bosh. The team saw promise in Milicic, but that didn’t go as planned. The Pistons didn’t have a star player on that championship team, and if Anthony was on that team, a championship might not have happened.
If Anthony was on that team, the Pistons might not have gone after Rasheed Wallace, and the players already on that team may have all played different roles. It’s hard to say if the Pistons would have won a championship or two with Anthony, but he certainly thinks so.
Anthony almost made it to the finals
Though Anthony didn’t get drafted by the Pistons, he still had a chance to make the NBA finals. He believed that he should have made the finals in 2009 playing with the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets lost in the conference finals that year to the Los Angeles Lakers, who ended up winning the title.
“We really wanted Orlando in the Finals that year,” Anthony said. “If we get Game 1 in L.A. and Game 2, we going back to Denver, we sweeping them. We would’ve swept Orlando too that year.”