Melo Says He Would Have Won Multiple Rings With Pistons -- And D-Wade Agrees

Detroit drafted Darko instead. 

97.1 The Ticket
March 30, 2020 - 9:55 am
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For all their success, the Goin' to Work Pistons weren't the dynasty they could have been. Six straight trips to the conference finals resulted in just one championship. 

Their fatal mistake came in the 2003 draft, just as they were coming to power, when they drafted Darko Milicic second overall -- and passed on the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. 

Had the Pistons drafted Anthony, who went third overall to the Nuggets, one championship may have been two or three. Take it from Melo himself, who looked back on that draft during an Instagram live conversation with Wade. 

"No matter how much we look at the way the draft was or who went where, it all played out to what it was supposed to be," said Anthony. "Everything that we’ve done or we’ve went through has played out for us in some shape or form throughout our life, especially now. I don’t know what I would have been if I had went to Detroit. I know I would have had two, maybe two or three rings." 

At that point, Wade chimed in. 

"You would have definitely had two," he said. 

It's hard to argue. Anthony was an instant star in Denver, while Milicic was a flat-out bust in Detroit. And the Pistons still won the NBA championship in 2004, went back to the Finals in 2005, and made the conference finals each of the next three years. With Melo on those teams ... 

Alas. 

2004 Finals MVP Chauncey Billups may have summed it up best on ESPN's Highly Questionable when asked his reaction to the Pistons drafting Darko. 

"When you got Carmelo out there, man, it was hard to pass up on him," Billups said. "I think I had the same reaction everybody else had, and that was (insert deadpan stare)."