NBA

The most cringe-worthy LeBron James-Darko Milicic comparisons from the 2003 NBA Draft

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With the 2017 NBA Draft taking place on Thursday night, many NBA media members have been digging up old quotes from league executives about top prospects from past drafts.

For example, in the 2003 NBA Draft that saw LeBron James go No. 1 overall and Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade go with the third through fifth picks.

However, at No. 2, the Detroit Pistons selected Serbian center Darko Milicic, which, as we know now, was a terrible choice.

At the time, though, there was some legitimate debate as to whether Darko should be chosen ahead of LeBron, as the below tweet proves:

Mike D'Antoni, now coaching the Houston Rockets, turned in this gem of a terrible take:

"A lot of people are saying James is good, there's no doubt about it, and they love him," he said back then. "But the Yugoslavian kid, at 7 feet, with all the things he's supposed to be able to do, in three or four years will be the better pick."

D'Antoni wasn't alone with his preference for Milicic, though, as Alberto Dal Cin, the Utah Jazz's director of international scouting, said this about James:

"Personally, I would take Darko ahead of LeBron James because he has more skills and can play more positions," Dal Cin said. "There are very few can't-miss players, but I have no doubt that Darko is a can't-miss player."

Obviously, both of those opinions quickly looked incredibly foolish, as LeBron may be the best player ever to play the game and Milicic is out of the league having never really made much of an impact.

LeBron has led three title-winning squads in his career and is making his way up the all-time lists in a number of different statistical categories. Over the course of his 14-year career, James has averaged 27.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists.

Milicic, on the other hand, averaged 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, while playing in 468 games in 10 seasons.

It's interesting to compare the 2003 draft to the 2017 draft, as Washington guard Markelle Fultz is considered by many to be the top player in his class.

However, the Boston Celtics, who received the No. 1 overall pick at the recent draft lottery event, traded back to No. 3, saying the player they want to take will still be there at that time.

Celtics fans will be sure to keep an eye on Fultz, though, because if he develops into a superstar and the player Boston selects doesn't, many will question general manager Danny Ainge's logic behind the surprising move.

What will the experts be saying about the 2017 draft in 10 years? Only time will tell.

Topics:
Detroit Pistons
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Draft
Kyrie Irving
LeBron James

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