Mr. Chibbs: Kenny Anderson Documentary • Latino Sports

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Mr. Chibbs: Kenny Anderson Documentary

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New York, NY – Kenny Anderson enjoyed a solid fourteen-year NBA career but he never reached the heights that were predicted for him when he was labeled a basketball prodigy at Archbishop Molly High School in the late 1980s.

He easily could have become one of the many pro athletes who have tragic endings because of the number of poor decisions he made but thankfully that did not happen.

Kenny is now telling his life story in a new documentary that opens next Wednesday at Manhattan’s IFC Center titled “Mr. Chibbs.” The movie’s motto is “Basketball is easy but life is hard” and in his case it’s the absolute truth.

From the film’s opening scene in which he candidly discusses being fired from a coaching position from a South Florida Jewish day school as the result of a DUI conviction. It then segues into a discussion of his finances in which he admits that he lost millions of dollars of his earnings through no one’s fault but his own and he makes it clear that he doesn’t blame his financial advisers as many athletes do.

He even admits that when he landed his second NBA contract, which was very lucrative, it diminished his work ethic. Few athletes ever fess up to that.

The most memorable scene of the film to me was when he was discussing sex with one of his sons and demands that he always wear a condom wen being intimate with a girl. “Don’t worry, dad. I am not going to have eight kids like you did,” his son replied.

Child support has taken an economic toll on Anderson.

It’s clear that the hardest moments for Kenny in the film are not the mistakes he committed but rather discussing his late mother, Joan. He clearly loved his mom but he admits that she was an addict, promiscuous, and used him as a virtual ATM during his NBA career.

It was his mom who gave him the made-up nickname Mr. Chibbs.

Kenny told me in a phone interview last Friday that the name had nothing to do with either a play on the name of Sidney Poitier’s Mr. Tibbs film character or the old Mr. Chips brand of cookies. He told me that he wouldn’t have agreed to this film if she were still alive.

Queens is an important character in this film. Director Jill Campbell wisely shied away from showing old NBA footage of his career and opted instead to shoot Kenny revisiting Lefrak City and reuniting with childhood friends; talking to basketball players on the current Archbishop Molloy team while sharing his memories of his coach and mentor, the late Jack Curran; and poignantly waiting for a train at the Woodhaven Blvd. station.

“Mr. Chibbs” is a solid film that has you rooting for the likable Anderson in his quest to become a better person. The Tribeca Film Festival finishes up this weekend and Saturday is when the bulk of their sports films will be shown to the public.

Kenny Anderson told me that he wanted “Mr. Chibbs” to be part of Tribeca but he and his director, Jill Campbell, couldn’t guarantee that the documentary would be finished in time for the festival submission deadline.

About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at NYSportsDay.com. In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

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