Point guard Kenny Anderson might have been more notorious than he was famous. He didn’t seem to like some of his teams and some of his coaches weren’t impressed with him.
Kenny Anderson was a New York point guard, and had all the traits associated with that. He was good, but he was also a scorer, which didn’t fit in well when he was asked to pass the ball more. His two seasons at Georgia Tech showed what he could do. In his first year, he had 20.6 points and 8.1 assists per game.
For his second, and final, season of college basketball, Anderson lifted his scoring average to 25.9 points but his assists dropped to 5.6 a game. Also, as he shot more his field goal percentage went down.
The New Jersey Nets already had a point guard, and the coach there was very happy with defensive point guard Mookie Blaylock running the team, but the management and ownership wanted Kenny Anderson. The Nets used pick 2 of the 1991 NBA draft to select him.
Anderson played 17 minutes per game in his rookie season. He scored 7 points a game and shot 39% from the field. The Nets had decided he was there point guard so they traded away Blaylock.
The next year, Anderson started every game he played for the Nets and scored 16.9 points and had 8.2 assists. The next year, 1993-94, Anderson played in the NBA All-Star game. That season he played all 82 games, and staying healthy was something he didn’t do all the time but he did that year, and passed for 9.6 assists and scored 18.8 points per game.
The Nets were often a competitive team with Anderson at the point but they weren’t contender and as his contract was in its last year the Nets moved him and Gerald Glass to the Charlotte Hornets for Kendall Gill and Khalid Reeves.
The Portland Trail Blazers were next for Anderson as he left the Hornets and joined them as a free agent. He didn’t stay there long.
Portland thought they had a way to upgrade the point guard spot and they sent a package that included Anderson as well as forward Gary Trent, guard Alvin Williams, two 1998 first round draft picks and a 1998 second round draft pick to Toronto for young point guard Damon Stoudamire as well as Carlos Rogers and Walt Williams.
Anderson wasn’t happy with the move so Toronto had to get rid of him right away, and they actually got more than they gave away as they packaged Anderson with Popeye Jones and Zan Tabak and received high draft pick Chauncey Billups, veteran guard Dee Brown, shot blocker Roy Rogers and wide rebounder John Thomas from Boston.
With the Celtics, Anderson gave the Celtics some speed at point guard and compared to some of his earlier seasons he was a better shooter and could score at around 44%.
Anderson starred for Boston in the playoffs of the 2001-02 season when Boston won two series, beating the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons. Several times during the playoffs when Pierce and Walker had foul trouble or were being double-teamed it was Anderson who got to the basket and scored at important times during games.
Anderson would be traded to Seattle in July of 2002. Anderson, Vitaly Potapenko and Joe Forte were traded for Vin Baker and Shammond Williams. He gave them solid point guard play for 38 games before being traded to the New Orleans Hornets for center Elden Campbell. Anderson would finish his career as a free agent with the Pacers, Hawks and Clippers.