Carmelo Anthony would have helped Pistons win more rings, admits Larry Brown
The Detroit Pistons’ decision to select Darko Milicic with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft is one of the great “What If” questions in NBA history.
Detroit opted for Milicic over then-Syracuse star Carmelo Anthony, fresh off a dominant NCAA championship run with the Orange.
The Pistons would go on to win the NBA championship that season, but former head coach Larry Brown feels they could have won even more had they selected Anthony.
What if the #Pistons had drafted Carmelo Anthony in 2003?
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) April 8, 2020
Brown said Anthony would have fit in because he would have been surrounded by “quality people” and mentors who would have assisted his maturation.
There has been plenty of back-and-forth about the Milicic selection in recent weeks. During an Instagram Live chat with fellow 2003 draftee Dwyane Wade, Anthony said he would have won “two or three rings” with the Pistons.
However, former Pistons center Ben Wallace–a lynchpin of that 2003-04 team–disagreed, suggesting Carmelo would have disrupted the team’s chemistry.
Ben Wallace on the Pistons drafting Darko Millicic over Carmelo Anthony: “If we would’ve drafted Carmelo, I honestly don’t think we would have ever won a championship. Melo wanted to play right away. It would have had the potential to disrupt the team chemistry.”
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) April 6, 2020
Of course, Brown is suggesting guys like Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace would have forced Anthony to immerse himself in the team-first mentality.
Brown also had prior experience dealing with big personalities after coaching Allen Iverson with the Philadelphia 76ers, and Iverson has repeatedly stated Brown’s immense influence on his career and his life.
This is the second time in the past seven months Brown has spoken at length on the subject. Back in September, he said the Pistons front office told him they were selecting Anthony.
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) September 19, 2019
Naturally, this is all speculation.
Still, it is intriguing to imagine the possibilities had Melo ended up in Detroit. His entire NBA legacy might look totally different than it does at present.