Detroit Pistons: Carmelo Anthony feels robbed of multiple NBA titles

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Remember that time the Detroit Pistons selected Darko Milicic with the second overall pick?  Of course, you do, how could anyone forget the worst draft pick in Detroit sports history?

It was the 2003 NBA Draft when it all went wrong for the Detroit Pistons.  It was a draft loaded with talent, and with the Pistons selecting second, the organization decided to choose the 7’0 foot Serbian center.

The winning of the 2003 draft would be rewarded with LeBron James.  The Akron, Ohio highschool star ended up in his home state playing for the Cleveland Cavilers.  Former Detroit Pistons legend and General Manager (GM) at the time Joe Dumars made the biggest mistake of his managerial life picking Darko next.

Dumars passed on the likes of Carmelo Anthony, who was taken third by Denver, Dwyane Wade was picked fourth by Miami and Chris Bosh fifth by the Toronto Raptors.  Recently Carmelo joined Wade on a video chat, and he mentioned if the Pistons had selected him, they would have won two or three titles, and I don’t think he’s wrong.  This from an article published by NBCSports; take a listen.

Picking Milicic in 2003 would quickly be disregarded because the Pistons had a cast of players that complimented each other perfectly.  It would be a tremendous starting five Dumars was able to articulate, and it paid off in a big way en route to the 2004 NBA championship.

Anthony would go on to be a ten-time NBA All-Star and a six-time member of the All-NBA team.  Darko scratched and clawed to stay in the league lasting just ten seasons.  During that time, he averaged 6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.  But he does have an NBA championship ring.

I can’t help but wonder how good the Detroit Pistons would have been with Anthony playing alongside Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, and Ben Wallace.  Having a young Tayshaun Prince coming off the bench and playing lockdown defense late in ball games would have been unbelievable.

Anthony would automatically be the teams’ top scoring option.  He averaged 21 points per game as a 19-year-old with Denver starting in all 82 games of the regular season. He also corralled 6.1 boards and nearly three assists.

When you consider Anthony averaged nearly 25 points per game throughout his first fifteen seasons, it’s interesting to think about what COULD have been if Detroit did pick him in 2003.  It’s not like Anthony is saying he would have won five or six titles, two or three is very feasible.  Don’t forget the Pistons did reach the NBA finals in back to back seasons along with six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances.  Having a bonified scorer like Anthony in the mix could have been extraordinary.

Now, there is no guarantee that Anthony would have gelled with the ‘going to work’ Pistons.  Anthony is a big personality.  Imagine he and Rasheed together mucking it up on the court?

Next. Lions: Six worst first-round draft picks of all-time. dark

It would be entertaining, to say the least, but it also would have had the potential to be explosive.  The Pistons settle with one title during that era while Anthony is still chasing a ring that continues to elude him.  Maybe the team wouldn’t have gelled; we’re only left to wonder.