Carmelo Anthony will very likely retire from the NBA without a championship ring, but he thinks that things would have been much different if the Detroit Pistons had not passed on him back in 2003.
During an Instagram Live session on Friday with fellow Banana Boat brother Dwyane Wade, the Portland Trail Blazers forward said that he would have had multiple rings had he been drafted by Detroit.
"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
“I don’t know what I would’ve been if I would’ve went to Detroit,” said Anthony. “I know I would’ve had maybe two or three rings.”
Though the ten-time All-Star Anthony had just led Syracuse to the national title at the time, the Pistons selected Serbian center Darko Milicic with the No. 2 overall choice instead in an all-time great draft whiff. Anthony then went to the Denver Nuggets with the very next selection.
It is unclear how Anthony would have fit in with that superstar-less Pistons team that went on to win the NBA championship in 2004. Defensive stopper Tayshaun Prince, a crucial part of the team’s essence, was already entrenched at small forward, and Larry Brown, who was of the no-nonsense style Anthony never seemed to mesh with, was their coach. Then again, had Anthony been around that culture of selflessness and discipline from the very start of his career at age 19, his player arc probably would have looked a lot different.
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An asterisk (*) indicates that the player's rights were traded on draft night.