The Nets made Kenny Anderson the second overall pick in the 1991 NBA Draft, pairing the New York City prep legend and Georgia Tech star with Derrick Coleman, the previous year’s top draft selection. With two young, talented and up-and-coming stars, the Nets envisioned an East Coast version of John
Stockton and Karl Malone, but both Coleman and Anderson were immature (Anderson was the youngest player in the league during his rookie season) and were harmed by the lack of strong team leadership.
The promising point guard was therefore allowed to develop some awful off-court habits during those first few seasons, and the 1994 incident in which Anderson missed a morning practice session was the perfect example of how the Nets’ culture eroded any chance of team success. Anderson, at that point a team captain, missed the practice entirely and his whereabouts were unknown. Unknown, that is, until the New York Post reported seeing him at Scores, a well-known New York City strip club.
Anderson was not suspended by Nets management for missing the session and Coleman famously minimized the incident and defended his teammate by saying, “Whoop-de-damn-do,” when told that the point guard’s behavior might set a poor example for teammates. If Anderson had been held accountable by management or teammates during those early years, perhaps the undeniably talented point guard's 14-year NBA career would have included more than just the single All-Star appearance he earned in 1994.