Carmelo Anthony Claims Detroit Pistons ‘Promised’ to Draft Him in ’03

For the last two decades, the biggest “what if?” question that will stand the test of time will be how many championships the Detroit Pistons could have won if they had drafted Carmelo Anthony in the 2003 NBA Draft?

Carmelo discussed the possibility as a guest on Showtime’s All The Smoke podcast, hosted by Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Anthony told a backstory of how Detroit promised that they were going to select him after LeBron James with the No. 2 pick back in 2003.

“To this day, I still think about that. I’m like, they promised me, You know what I’m saying? ‘We taking you.’ I’m talking about all the way up to draft day, you understand? ‘We taking you.’ So, in my mind, I’m like, ‘I’m going to Detroit.’ …They won it and I’m like, ‘Ah, my luck.’ If I’m there, I think they win another one. I think we go back-to-back if I’m there.”

“We drove from (Baltimore) to Philly to go watch—it was Detroit versus Philly,” Anthony added. “Larry Brown had already took the job at Detroit, but he was still coaching Philly. So, we’re in the back and he’s like, ‘We taking you. We taking you.’ I’m driving back up 95 like, ‘Yo, we going to Detroit.’ The whole hood? ‘We Detroit.'”

History shows that the situation did not pan out that way. The Pistons now reside in infamy selecting Darko Milicic with the No. 2 pick instead of Anthony, who fell to the Nuggets at No. 3 or Chris Bosh, who was selected by the Toronto Raptors at No. 4 or Dwyane Wade who was selected by the Miami Heat at No. 5.

Anthony played seven full seasons in Denver before being traded to the New York Knicks. He signed a one year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.