Ex-Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace says his former team would have never won a championship had they drafted Carmelo Anthony in 2003.
Anthony recently claimed he would have won at least two titles if Detroit had picked him up instead of Darko Milicic, who got selected as the second overall pick but languished in the league. However, Wallace reckons the Portland Trail Blazers forward would have disrupted the team’s chemistry because he would want to play right away, as opposed to the Serbian, who immediately accepted that he wasn’t ready to usurp anyone in the starting lineup.
“If we would’ve drafted Carmelo, I honestly don’t think we would ever win a championship,” Wallace said on the 120 Watts podcast. “Melo would want to play right away. That would have the potential to disrupt the team chemistry. By drafting Darko, he came in and said that he is not ready to play on this team. Who I am going to play in front of. I’m not ready, and by him doing that and accepting his role, it allowed us to build and grow and get stronger and eventually win a championship.”
Wallace also suggested that bringing Anthony in would have stunted Tayshaun Prince’s development.
“If we drafted Carmelo, Tayshaun wouldn’t blossom to be the type of a player that he way,” he added. “We won that championship on the back of the best block I’ve ever seen in my life, and I blocked a lot of shots. That is the type of grit and grind that the team had.”
Transcription credit: Basketballnetwork.net