Carmelo Anthony reveals profound ‘hurt’ over Pistons’ shocking Darko Milicic pick
The 2003 NBA draft will never be forgotten by Carmelo Anthony or Darko Milicic, for very different reasons which relate to the Detroit Pistons.
Carmelo Anthony enters his 19th season in the NBA still without a ring. After re-establishing himself as a worthwhile rotation player over the last two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, though, the future Hall-of-Famer enters 2021-22 as a member of the star-studded Los Angeles Lakers, affording himself arguably the best chance to win a championship of his iconic career. He didn’t get that chance with the great Detroit Pistons teams of the early and mid-2000s.
If the Pistons kept their promise nearly 20 years ago, Anthony likely wouldn’t have just one title to his name already, but surely would’ve avoided the profound “hurt” associated with an anonymous European teenager being drafted ahead of him.
In an interview with GQ’s Tyler R. Tynes about his upcoming book, Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope, Carmelo Anthony opened up further about the abject disappointment he felt at the Pistons’ shocking selection of Darko Milicic with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft.
How hurt were you that Detroit drafted Darko Milicic over you, though?
I was, I was… I was hurt. That disappointment was there. Like, damn! Why me? Why do I keep being disappointed? Things never go right. Why can’t they go right for me? That shut me down for a little bit and for a while. It shut me down. Why? Why is this happening to me? I was always questioning myself. I come to Philly and meet with you and y’all tell me shit and it doesn’t happen…I was so used to disappointment at that time and I felt like I had finally got ahead, but it was more disappointment waiting for me (with the Pistons).
Anthony, of course, was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the third pick of the draft, behind Milicic and new teammate LeBron James. The Pistons went on to win the title the following season, Milicic barely getting off the bench as Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace and company dispatched of the Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in five games.
This isn’t the first time Anthony has touched on how the Pistons taking Milicic, widely regarded as one of the biggest draft busts of all time, second affected him mentally. During a recent appearance on All The Smoke, Anthony pondered just how differently his career would have gone if he’d been drafted into a winning organization like Detroit.
Fortunately for ‘Melo, he won’t be lamenting what could have been for long. His quest for a title with the purple-and-gold tips off in a month, all while the Pistons remain largely irrelevant in the NBA.