SportsGrid Q&A with Kenny Anderson: On Being an NYC Point God, NIL & the Final Four
As a school-boy star at Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York, Kenny Anderson captured the heart of the Big Apple and donned the back page of local newspapers when that was a big deal. After becoming the first four-time All-City star, Anderson went to Georgia Tech, where he led the Yellow Jackets to the Final Four. The second pick in the 1991 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, Anderson would go on to a 14-year career, including an All-Star selection in 1994. He’s currently the head coach at Fisk University in Tennessee.
The New York City legend is also the subject of the upcoming documentary, NYC Point Gods, which spotlights many of the stars at the point guard position bred in the City who would go on to impact the game of basketball and the sport’s culture. Anderson spoke to SportsGrid this week before the documentary’s release to talk about his inclusion among this storied group, how he would have flourished with Name, Image, and Likeness opportunities, and a loss that still sticks in his craw.
NYC Point Gods will premiere on Friday, July 29, at 9:00 p.m. ET on SHOWTIME.
Hey, Kenny. I’m a Queens kid myself, and if I hadn’t moved from Astoria, I probably would have gone to Molloy, too. Instead, I went to St. Francis Prep.
Booooo. St. Francis Prep? Had I known, I would have said no to the interview! (Laughs)
I love the Pearl (Washington) shirt you got on!
I got to represent my guy, coming back to New York for the Point God premiere. Pearl is the guy all the point guards in New York looked up to. What shirt do you have on?
I got my St. John’s shirt on. That’s where I went to school. I’m repping for Mark Jackson.
That’s awesome, man. But you’re wearing a Mark Jackson shirt? Don’t you have a Kenny Anderson Georgia Tech shirt? Does Mark want to do an interview with you? What’s up with that? (Laughs)
I have to be honest. He’s not. (Laughs)
I’m messing with you, man. That’s awesome.
What’s it like being part of this group, a special club, repping in your city?
It’s an honor to be with those guys. I’m so grateful they’re doing it and giving the New York point guard some love. Pearl Washington, Mark Jackson, Kenny Smith, Rod Strickland, and then (God) Shammgod and Stephon Marbury, all the young guards. I love it and am glad I’m a part of it. I have to be in it. I thought about it, and nothing could be brought up in New York (basketball) history without Kenny Anderson. It’s a blessing. I’m 51 years old now. I’m glad I played in this great city of ball players. It made me who I am today, playing ball in New York City.
You mentioned Shammgod, who is also in the documentary. How good is your “Shammgod” move?
I’ve been working on it. I’m about 60 percent there for the God Shammgod move, and I will do it. I’m going to teach that to my team this year. I’ll be at practice doing the Shammgod. My speed is not the same as when I played; a little slower. The Shammgod move is awesome.
It’s a new era in college basketball, and as big of a name as you were in college, can you imagine what those NIL opportunities would have been for you back in the day?
I probably wouldn’t have to play in the NBA! I would have made a lot of money. It would have been interesting, my friends and I talked about it. It would have been interesting to see how much money I would have made. It would have been bananas.
I would have been one of the kids rocking that Kenny Anderson Georgia Tech jersey. I would have gotten a Molloy one when I was 11-12. You made a run to the Final Four during your freshman year at Georgia Tech before you ran into a UNLV team that was maybe as good as any college basketball team that ever was.
Yeah, that’s what they say, but we let them get away. We were up at halftime (53-46), then I got in foul trouble, and it broke down. We lost by 8-10 points (90-81). We were right in the game, but certain things didn’t go our way. They were a great team, though.
So you guys should have won that game?
Yeah! I’m confident we could beat them if I hadn’t gotten into foul trouble. I believe that, period. Hands down. I don’t care who you’re playing, but with me, Dennis Scott, Brian Oliver, they’re going to make it happen. I got in foul trouble, which threw everything off. That’s why I made it so far because of my confidence.
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