If you remember watching Kenny Anderson playing the game, you remember it was fun.
Best remembered as a Georgia Tech star then a New Jersey Net (although he played for a number of other teams), he wasn’t a great shooter, he gambled a little too much on defense, but he was a playground guy who figured out how to make that style and flair fit in the NBA well enough that he was an All-Star with a 14-year NBA career.
Since he retired after the 2005 season, he’s been pretty quiet (although PBT had him on a podcast earlier this year). Now he’s doing an off-Broadway show in New York and something came out of that which he discussed with SB Nation:
Anderson said he was molested twice as a child. Once by somebody in the youth basketball community (he was very clear it was not one of his AAU or high school coaches).
“I admitted I got molested twice,” Anderson said…
“I don’t think it killed me, like it killed some other kids that’s been molested. You can really take a lot out of a kid for the rest of their lives. I think without the fame, without the basketball celebrity notoriety it might have been more difficult for me….
“The bottom line, if I could help somebody and they see Kenny Anderson got molested and he’s talking about it, now people are going to come out and maybe be able to tell their story. I wasn’t going to do it, but the trigger went off for me and it just had to be done.”
He didn’t tell his mother or anyone for years, his wife only found out three or four years ago.
But with his new autobiography coming out (likely next March) he is starting to talk about it.
In the past year NBA player Keyon Dooling also admitted he had been molested as a youth.
The only way to really help future children from this predatory situation is to shine a light on it — people like Anderson coming out and talking about it. That may help others come forward and talk about it, to shine a light on the perpetrators whoever they are and bring them out in the daylight. Bring them to justice.
And if Anderson’s story helps one person with that, helps them know it’s not their fault and they can talk about this, then it was worth it.
Good on Anderson for taking this step.