Kenny Anderson: ‘I Had To Come Out’ About Childhood Abuse

Former NBA player Kenny Anderson dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss his new documentary, “Mr. Chibbs,” which delves into his life and career, from being one of the top prospects in America in his youth to his life post-retirement.

 

“It’s basketball, but it’s really about my life,” Anderson said on Ferrall on the Bench. “It wasn’t like a basketball highlight reel. We shadowed me for about four years, and it just was deep, man. A lot of feelings that I was dealing with, holding inside, came out. In 2005, I lost my mother, and she wanted me to change and do things the right way and try to get into my kids’ lives. About four years ago, when documentary films was really hot, I met some producers about it. I was thinking about doing it and then I met Jill Campbell. (Our) vision was the same. I could work with her. What we was trying to get across to people, I think it’s inspirational for young people and good for adults. We just hit all types of crowds. You really don’t have to know Kenny Anderson the basketball player. You know about the name, but when you see the film, it touches you in so many ways. I was really pleased with it.”

Anderson, 46, was – and is – a New York basketball legend. He played for Archbishop Malloy in Queens, led Georgia Tech to the Final Four in 1990, and played in the NBA for more than a decade. After he retired, he was a youth basketball coach in Florida but ultimately lost the job after getting a DUI.

“I needed those kids more than they needed me,” Anderson said. “I was doing it for the passion, and the love wasn’t really about wins and losses. I loved being around those guys. I loved the faculty. The whole situation was a bummer for me, but you live and learn and you have to get back up.”

Anderson also opens up about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. He was molested by a basketball coach and a neighborhood friend at ages 9 and 11.

“That’s one of the things I was a little embarrassed about and ashamed,” Anderson said, “but I had to come out. There’s too many people, too many kids, out here committing suicide and killing themselves and damaging themselves. They got to get help. They got to get therapy. I’m still in therapy. I’m still working on myself. The documentary is out there, but there’s no ending to it. That’s what makes it so special. I’m a work in progress. It was like therapy making this move. It was awesome.”

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