Hawks Sign Kenny Anderson
Thirteen-year pro adds experience and leadership to the Atlanta backcourt
ATLANTA (Sept. 16, 2004) -- In a move that strengthens their backcourt and reunites local fans with a former collegiate star, the Atlanta Hawks have signed former Georgia Tech and NBA veteran guard Kenny Anderson to a contract, it was announced today by General Manager Billy Knight.
"This is great," said Anderson, "this move brings me back to where I started. Naturally, I followed the Hawks during my days at Georgia Tech and watched many of their games at The Omni, and also had the chance to play there with the Yellow Jackets. Atlanta's my home away from home and I am excited about it.
"I'm getting the opportunity to play with two of the guys I've played with before, with Antoine Walker (in Boston) and Al Harrington (in Indiana), and that will make this transition a good one for me. I think the fans will embrace my return to the local basketball scene. I got a lot of love from them during my two years at Georgia Tech and I expect them to do the same as I become a member of the Hawks."
Anderson, a 13-year veteran of seven NBA teams and a one-time starter in the All-Star Game (1994), participated in 44 games (he started in 31 contests) last season with the Central Division champion Indiana Pacers, tossing in 6.0 points and delivering 2.8 assists. In 20 minutes of action per game, he connected on 44.1% of his shots from the field and 72.9% from the charity stripe. He brings career averages of 13.0 points, 6.2 assists and 3.1 rebounds to the Hawks (.421 FG%, .345 3FG%, .791 FT%).
Very familiar to Atlanta area fans from his two-year career at Georgia Tech, the left-handed Anderson led the Yellow Jackets to the school's first-ever NCAA Final Four appearance in his first season under coach Bobby Cremins. Teaming up with fellow backcourt mates Brian Oliver and Dennis Scott, the trio formed the unit called "Lethal Weapon 3" for their outstanding play in leading Georgia Tech to the 1990 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) title and the eventual Final Four berth as the Yellow Jackets finished with a 28-7 record. Anderson accounted for 20.6 ppg in 1990-91, while Scott led the way with 27.7 ppg and Oliver averaged 21.3 points.
He earned All-America second team honors from The Sporting News and first team All-ACC honors after his freshman and sophomore years, and in those two seasons, Anderson averaged 23.0 points and 7.0 assists. In his final year (1990-91) he totaled 25.9 points and drilled the nets for a school record 50 points on December 22, 1990 against Loyola Marymount.
Following his second year, Anderson entered the 1991 NBA Draft as an early-entry candidate and was selected by New Jersey as the second overall pick. After four-plus seasons (1991-1995-96) with the Nets - he averaged 15.3 points and 7.8 assists in 304 games - he was traded to Charlotte in January 1996 and played in the Hornets' final 38 games, where he tossed in 15.2 ppg.
Signing with Portland as a free agent prior to the 1996-97 campaign, Anderson saw action in 127 games with the Trail Blazers (15.8 points and 6.5 assists) before he was obtained by Toronto in a trade that involved five players and three draft picks on February 13, 1998. Five days later (he did not appear in a game with the Raptors), he was sent to Boston in another major transaction (seven players involved) and spent the next four-plus seasons (the second half of '97-98 to the 2001-02 year) with the Celtics.
Anderson appeared in 241 games with Boston, averaging 11.3 points and played in 16 postseason games, the most of his career (36 total, with playoff career averages of 9.6 ppg and 3.8 apg).
He split time in 2002-03 between Seattle and New Orleans (6.1 ppg and 3.2 apg in a total of 61 games) before joining the Pacers backcourt last season.
Anderson enjoyed his best season in 1993-94 when he registered career highs in points (18.8 ppg), assists (9.6 apg) and steals (1.93 spg) with the Nets.
Elected to the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 2001, he was rated the number one high school player in the nation following an outstanding prep career at Archbishop Molloy in Queens, NY. Anderson was born October 9, 1970 in Queens.