The what-ifs in the NBA lead to present think tanks of what might have happened. One of these possibilities is if Carmelo Anthony was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 2003. Would it be a smart pick at that time?
The last time before the 2004 championship that we saw the Detroit Pistons at their peak was when the Bad Boys took over. After sweeping the two NBA titles in the 90s, it was only a few years back that we saw Pistons hold one. The controversial bit that remains in the franchise is the 2003 NBA draft.
Pistons had qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals the previous year. They were quite a strong team defensively with the kind of roster they had formed. Well, then what prevailed as a confusion in the upcoming draft?
The 2003 NBA draft was crucial when we have a look at the choices now. Big names like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh were part of it the same year. The first overall pick was LeBron by the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the 2003 NCAA Most Outstanding Player, Carmelo was taken away in the third pick by Denver Nuggets.
Darko Miličić was one picked prior to Melo by the Detroit Pistons. It’s a controversial debate as to what might have happened if Anthony was taken in instead.
One of Detroit’s most powerful defenders, Rip Hamilton clearly agrees, “Carmelo Anthony would have been a champion.”
Melo, considered as one of the terrific players of the present time, has never been an NBA champion. He is a 10-time NBA All-Star and was named the NBA scoring champion in 2013. A year back Anthony was traded to Portland Trail Blazers. His career achievements so far just lack an NBA title on the list.
Considering the possibility that Carmelo could have been drafted by Detroit, Hamilton had a chat with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on their show, ‘All The Smoke’. “First of all, I think I would have played at least 20 years in the NBA.” The three had a good laugh at that one.
Rip did pose an interesting angle to this scenario. “If Carmelo comes to us, would the narrative have been different with LeBron James?”
If yes, in what ways? Well, LeBron was the Rookie of the season when Carmelo was also making a fresh start. As things moved forward, James is a three-time NBA champion while Anthony has none. From day one, LeBron grabbed the spotlight. On the other hand, Carmelo showed his worth with time.
“Now you bring Carmelo to us, I think the narrative would have been totally different on his career,” Hamilton added to it. “Because the thing we’ll be talking about is, Carmelo Anthony now has three championships already. Now, Melo’s thinking about, you know what, can he do this by himself?”
Hamilton sounded extremely convinced that Carmelo would have won three NBA titles by now if things went that way. Many even disagree with this theory to date. They believe that Darko was the right pick then.
What do you think? Had it not been for the Nuggets, Carmelo would have achieved greater feats today?