By Brian Taylor
No seriously. What happened to this guy?
This year’s New Jersey Nets really has only one holdover from the early 2000’s (it’s 07’, I can say that now), and that’s the timeless Jason Kidd. During their peak seasons, the Nets had guys like Kenyon Martin, a law abiding Stephen Jackson and a slim 2-guard from Villanova, Kerry Kittles.
When a lot of rookies come into the league, especially lottery picks, they get the “he’s he next _____” tag. For the 6’5” Kittles, it was Reggie Miller. From the way he shot to his couldn’t-see-him-if-he-stood-sideways frame, Kittles was one of those “glue guys” who never had a huge physical presence, but played an important part on Eastern Conference title teams.
In the 1996 Draft, one of the best in recent times, you had guys like Starbury, Kobe Bean, Ray Allen, the Answer and Steve Nash. Kerry Kittles fell to the Nets in the 8th spot, and had decent numbers in his rookie campaign (16ppg, 3ast). Kittles was sick at ‘Nova, owning 15 all-time career records at the school.
But regarding the Miller comparison, Kerry set a rookie record for heisting shots from downtown, leading the Nets in attempts (158 out of 419). With a guy like Jason Kidd controlling the floor, and an inside threat like a healthy Kenyon Martin, there were plenty of wide open opportunities for Kittles in New Jersey.
Kerry fell victim to the all too familiar “knee-injury/was-never-the-same-again” virus that hits a select few guys every season. Right now, folks thought it was going to happen to Amare Stoudamire with his microfracture surgery, but he’s been beasting again out in PHX, so he’s safe.
In Los Angeles, Kerry never really caught on, with Elton Brand, Corey Maggette and Shaun Livingston getting burn and doing well. Kerry never came back from his surgery all the way and had to wrap up his career early in 2005.
Word has it that Kittles is now doing PR work for the Nets, where he had his best moments as an NBA’er and will probably be remembered most.
But when he was ballin’ Kerry handled his business, helping the Nets go from a “good team” out east, to a two-time conference champion. Check him soaring for an Alley-Coop right here.