Carmelo Anthony still thinks about how his career would be different if it started with the Pistons.
During an Instagram Live video, Anthony and Dwyane Wade discussed their NBA careers and what could have happened if the Pistons drafted Anthony with the No. 2 pick in 2003.
"Everything all played out the way it was supposed to play out," Anthony said. "No matter how much we look at the way the draft was or who went where. ...Everything that we've done or we went through has all played out for us in some way, shape or form throughout our lives, especially now.
"I don't know what I would've been if I went to Detroit. I know I would have two or three rings. I don't know how everything else would have played out after that."
In 2003, the Cavaliers selected LeBron James with the top overall pick, and the Pistons had plenty of options for who to draft at No. 2. That year's draft class also included players like Wade, Chris Bosh and Chris Kaman. Detroit ended up drafting Darko Milicic from Serbia, and the Nuggets took Anthony with the No. 3 pick.
Anthony has yet to win a championship, while Wade won three titles with the Heat before retiring last year. The Pistons won a championship in 2004—Anthony's rookie season—and returned to the Finals the following year, losing to the Spurs in seven games.
Detroit also reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008 but failed to advance to the Finals.
During their chat, Wade described how he thought Anthony would get drafted with the first pick after seeing him play at Syracuse.
"I didn't really know a lot about LeBron from a high school standpoint," Wade said. "I walked out of there and you got a light 30 on them and it was effortless and it was smooth and I was like, 'That's the No. 1 pick in the draft.' That was in my mind. Now, not knowing about 'Bron, and definitely not knowing about Darko."
"Who?" Anthony asked, causing Wade to laugh before he finished his story about the 2003 draft.
Seventeen years later, it looks like everything worked out pretty well for Anthony and Wade.