In a revealing interview with Dwyane Wade on the iHeartPodcasts series The Why with Dwyane Wade, a co-production of iHeartPodcasts and Wade’s 59th & Prairie Entertainment, former NBA star Carmelo Anthony shared his thoughts on the 2003 NBA Draft, where he was chosen after Darko Milicic.

Anthony recounted his anticipation of being selected as the #2 pick by the Detroit Pistons, stating, “I never thought about Denver though. I thought I was going to Detroit. Denver was never in my mind.”

“I was sold, it was done…I was told that by him…that you gon’ be the pick,” Melo affirmed when Wade asked if he thought he was going to be the #2 pick. “So in my mind, my confidence shoot straight up, I’m on campus [at Syracuse] and I get this [information]. I’m getting Detroit sweatsuits, I’m getting the practice basketballs, I’m getting NBA socks, like I’m a Detroit Piston in college. And then it don’t happened.”

However, Anthony’s hopes were dashed on draft day when he realized he would not be joining the Pistons. He recalled, “I kinda had inklings… they started talking about Detroit. And whenever someone starts talking about something all of a sudden, something’s happening.”

Reflecting on the events leading up to the draft, Anthony expressed his determination to prove himself, saying, “So as we [are] hearing about Darko [Miličić] oh we [going] to Detroit. We gotta go find where Darko is working out. We got to get to it.

“We got to find him, man, where [are] they hiding him at? We [are] going to work out with him, we [are] pulling up…We go into every gym, we [are] going to find him – this is a true story – we go into the gym, we want Darko…to show I might be the number one pick…so I gotta prove that.”

Despite being selected as the third overall pick by the Denver Nuggets, Anthony remains grateful for his journey. He expressed a desire to sit down with former Pistons head coach Joe Dumars, stating, “Nah, I’m a man now I wanna sit with Josh Dumars like yo, what’s up? Let’s talk…

“I had to grow out of that as a man like fuck that shit. Maybe if I went there [Detroit] shit would have been different. But that’s the older me. The younger me is like man, I was in Detroit. I was an hour away from B-More [Baltimore].

“Imagine how we would’ve had Detroit along with the culture and the vibe and the love that Detroit already have. We would’ve been Motor City! We would’ve been crazy out there.”