Carmelo Anthony thinks he’d have 2 NBA Championships if drafted by Pistons
One of possibly the biggest blunders in Detroit Pistons history was passing over then-Syracuse standout forward Carmelo Anthony in the 2003 NBA Draft. The Motor City team, instead, selected Serbian product in center Darko Milicic.
The current Portland Trail Blazers power forward, while speaking to fellow 2003 draftmate and pal in retired Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade on Instagram Live, revealed his belief that he would have already won a hardware in his trophy case if the Pistons picked him at No. 2.
"I woulda had, uh, two, maybe two or three rings."
Melo on if he was drafted by Detroit 😅 pic.twitter.com/yky1oXHoAX
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 27, 2020
After winning the national championship with the Orangemen in 2002-03, Anthony was considered a top draft pick. However, the way it shook out, the Cleveland Cavaliers took hometown high school hero LeBron James at No. 1 and the Pistons, already a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference and possessing the second overall pick, took Milicic.
The Denver Nuggets drafted the future All-Star and one-time NBA scoring champion Anthony at No. 3.
Milicic — playing just 4.7 minutes per game as an outcast of a strong, contending Pistons — won a championship as a rookie instead of Anthony, who was a greater contributor in his rookie year. He could have maybe bagged another one with the Pistons the following year when they lost in the Finals to the San Antonio Spurs.
Melo wound up turning into a star while in Denver but found little success in the postseason, reaching the Western Conference Finals once in 2009 and succumbing to friend and Team USA colleague Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Carmelo Anthony was later traded in a massive, three-team trade in 2011 to the New York Knicks where he continued to rack up points and All-Star selections, but the ‘Bockers could only make the semi-finals once in his tenure. He was traded in Sept. 2017 to the Oklahoma City Thunder and has since played for the Houston Rockets and now Blazers.
The 35-year-old still doesn’t have an NBA title to his name, but Anthony is a 10-time All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist.