NBA

Carmelo Anthony says Pistons ‘promised’ to pick him No. 2 overall in the 2003 NBA Draft

Carmelo Anthony has put together a sensational career after being drafted by the Denver Nuggets nearly two decades ago — one that is destined to end in he Hall of Fame. Anthony is now claiming though that he was promised his career was going to start very differently.

In an appearance on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s Showtime podcast All The Smoke, Anthony told the hosts that the Detroit Pistons promised that they were going to select him with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

“To this day, I still think about that. I’m like, they promised me,” Anthony said. “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.”

Anthony added that he drove to Philadelphia to see the Pistons take on the Philadelphia 76ers prior to the draft. The 10-time All-Star even met with Larry Brown, who had already accepted the head coaching position in Detroit.

“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.'”

Of course, the situation didn’t exactly play out that way. In one of the most historic drafts in NBA history, the Pistons took center Darko Milicic with the No. 2 pick and Anthony fell to the Nuggets at No. 3. Anthony played seven full seasons in Denver before being traded to the New York Knicks.

The Pistons ended up winning an NBA title the following season with a core group of Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Rashed Wallace, and Ben Wallace. If Anthony had been selected by Detroit, he would’ve almost surely a ring to his credit. To this day, the veteran forward is still searching for that elusive ring.

After spending the past two seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Anthony signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason in the hopes of competing for a championship with fellow 2003 draftee LeBron James. The Lakers made an array of moves throughout the offseason as they brought in Russell Westbrook and Dwight Howard in addition to Anthony.



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