When the 2003 NBA Draft began, there was no doubt who would go No. 1 in LeBron James. But the four players that followed may have been equally as important. Going in order were Darko Milicic, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Some of you may be asking yourself, Darko Milicic? Who in the world is that? The Detroit Pistons were asking themselves the same question after drafting this seven-foot center out of Serbia and Montenegro. Although Milicic did become the youngest player ever to play in an NBA Finals at the tender age of 18, he played extremely limited minutes with the Pistons and averaged a dismal 1.8 points in 37 games with Detroit in the 2004 season.
The rest of the top five have a combined 32 All-Star Game appearances, six All-Star Game MVPs, four gold medals, six NBA championships, three Finals MVPs, three NBA scoring titles and one NCAA championship. That resume alone is something to be admired.
Probably the most amazing of it all is that three of these five now play on the same team. When LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to join their pal Dwyane Wade down in South Beach, they shocked the basketball world. It almost seems unfair to the rest of the league to allow these superstars to team up.
However, their coming together has started a trend across the NBA in the teaming up of All-Stars. Carmelo Anthony was among those when he teamed up with Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and the rest of the New York Knicks in the 2010-11 season.
Now some may argue that the 1984 NBA Draft class that included the likes of Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley is the best draft class ever. Or maybe even the 1996 NBA Draft class that boasted the likes of Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.
But when it comes down to it, the number one, four and five picks in the draft have never played on the same team together until now. And their history is still being written. They could very well go down as the best trio ever. I’m just pleased we get the immense pleasure to watch it all unfold.