Yesterday I discussed some interesting quotes from Joe Dumars' press conference that were posted on Pistons.com, but missing from that partial transcriptIn an ideal world, the team could make available a full transcript of the entire press conference, or better yet, actual streaming video. were his comments on Darko Milicic, which I didn't discover until reading Drew Sharp's column in today's Free Press:
It wasn't long Monday before the Darko Milicic disaster was broached, and Dumars was asked if the clarity of hindsight gave him a different perspective. He knows that he blew it.
"Absolutely," he said. "As I've said before, the pick ended up being a mistake for the Pistons. It didn't work out, and I'm accountable for that. But I won't split hairs over it. After I made the pick, (we) won a championship, went to Game 7 of the Finals and came back and got the best record in the league. Want to split hairs that somebody else could have helped us more during that same period of time, and I'll give you the same answer. Maybe so."
Dumars isn't saying anything that Pistons fans don't already realize, but I think it's noteworthy because it's really the first time I've heard him express those sentiments so clearly.
I could go on for hours (and I have in the past) debating this pick, so I'm going to keep this quick: I'll never hold the decision against Dumars, because I'm convinced Detroit couldn't have won a championship had they drafted Carmelo Anthony, who was the only other legitimate option for the No. 2 pick. Tayshaun Prince's defense was invaluable to the 2004 playoff run, and he wouldn't have had a chance to continue his development were he coming off the bench behind Anthony. As much as hindsight makes us wistfully look at Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade and think about what things could be like now, I doubt this team could have made the Finals the past two years, let alone win one, with a different core.
Joe D knows Pistons must regain hunger [Detroit Free Press]