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Joe Dumars Reveals The Biggest Mistake He Made As The Detroit Pistons GM

Joe Dumars Reveals The Biggest Mistake He Made As The Detroit Pistons GM

The Detroit Pistons were one of the best teams in the 2000s, shocking the entire world in 2004, beating the Los Angeles Lakers superteam that looked as clear favorites to win the NBA Finals that season. They had a terrific roster to compete against anyone, which they showed against the overpowered Lakers. 

Even though things were fine for the Pistons, they could have been better, but bad decisions cost them the chance to extend their reign in the NBA during that decade. One of the biggest mistakes in team and league history happened in the 2003 NBA Draft, where the Pistons selected Darko Milicic as the 2nd overall pick of the night, missing out on players like Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh. 

That decision has been criticized non-stop by a lot of people around the league, and the Pistons' president of basketball operations and GM at the time is well aware of that. During a recent interview on The Crossover podcast, Joe Dumars admitted that drafting Darko Milicic is the biggest regret of his time in the Pistons' front office (33:50): 

"I always say this, 'own whatever it is, good or bad.' The swings and misses, the guys in Detroit would tell you, I would do like this, they would be like, 'what happened?' I'd be like, 'I messed up.' Like I would literally raise my hand, like, 'yeah, that's on me.' I think you own it, like we had tremendous success, but we had some misses too. I own all of them. For me, I think in a leadership position, that's what you do."

"Yes, it's a miss. It's a flat-out miss. It is [the move that I want back the most]. I own all of it... All the other guys asked what happened, and I go like, 'it's my fault.' We missed on that. I don't try to make excuses for it, I don't try to avoid it, just own it," he said. 

That decision might have changed everything for the Pistons, who could have added a better player to extend their domination in the East and the NBA, but they ended up with one of the biggest busts in league history. They were close to landing Kobe Bryant in 2007, but the player's indecision forced the Lakers to pull out. Things could have been a lot better for the people in Detroit, who are now hoping to see Cade Cunningham and co. bring another championship to the city.