Chauncey Billups Takes The Hypothetical Of The Pistons Drafting Carmelo Anthony One Step Further By Questioning If LeBron Ever Would've Taken Over The East If Melo Landed In Detroit
The Pistons getting the #2 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft was an all-time coup. They were really good having just won 50 games before getting swept by the Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals. Former Detroit Guard Chauncey Billups said that everyone on the team thought they were getting Carmelo Anthony, who if you forgot, was a MONSTER freshman season for Syracuse, leading them to an NCAA Tournament victory.
At that time, Detroit hadn't traded for Rasheed Wallace yet, so their lineup looked like Chauncey, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Mehmet Okur, and Big Ben Wallace. They were also flanked by PF Elden Campbell, SF Corliss Williamson and G Lindsay Hunter coming off the bench.
We all know what happened. They took international PF Darko Millicic and they someone got the only player in the Top 5 who won't be a Hall of Famer (LeBron, Darko, Carmelo, D-Wade, Chris Bosh) that year.
Regarding the interview, the most interesting was Billups asking aloud if LeBron was ever going to make it out of the East. And to be honest, he's 100% right. Detroit would've been a wagon and they'd have a combo of Melo x Tayshaun Prince to help slow down LeBron. I'd love to have lived in a world where the Pistons take Melo #2 overall. Maybe LeBron never becomes the King?!
Billups cites that Melo would've grown up with the right culture in Detroit and certainly wouldn't be chucking it 25 times/game. He could have be brought along at his speed and he would've dominated the East in his early years with that veteran laden squad. Can you imagine seeing Melo get introduced like this just ask the Pistons were about to sweep the Spurs in the NBA Finals?!?!
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