Kenny Anderson: ‘Tell My Story And Help Other People’

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MIAMI, FL - JUNE 18: NBA Legend Kenny Anderson attends the unveiling of the NBA Cares Learn and Play Center at the Miami Springs Community Center presented by HP and State Farm on June 18, 2012 in MIami, Florida.

(Credit: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

Now that Lamar Odom has signed a contract with the New York Knicks, there’s only thing left for the two-time NBA champion to do:

See a therapist.

That’s Kenny Anderson’s advice, anyway.

“That’s my opinion,” the former NBA player said on The MoJo Show. “They were saying Lamar Odom was on drugs and not doing so well. Sometimes you got to get away from the people that you (normally) talk to – your friends, your family – and maybe get a counselor, somebody to talk to, and come to peace within yourself first before you play the game that you love.”

Anderson, 43, and Odom, 34, are both from Queens.

“I don’t know who he’s hanging out with, but I know Lamar,” Anderson said. “I’m a little older than him. He watched me grow up in New York. I just wish the best for him. This is another opportunity for him. To have a guy like Phil Jackson in your corner to even give you a second chance to get a contract in the NBA is very difficult. And here’s someone reaching out to you and giving you that opportunity. It’s a blessing.”

Odom was playing in Spain before signing with the Knicks.

“I believe in a lot of cases, guys that retire – like coaches – get a therapist,” Anderson said. “Because (you get away with a) lot of things when you’re on top of your game in the NBA. But when you don’t have that contract no more and you’re out and you fall on your face, they don’t care nothing about you. You have to do things on your own. Maybe he needs somebody to talk to.”

Anderson sees a counselor every week.

“The only reason I said a counselor or a therapist is because those people have no hidden agendas,” he said. “You pay your money to go sit on a couch and express yourself to someone once, twice, three times a week or however often you go. I’m doing that. I just thought maybe it would help him.

“I’m not playing basketball no more, but it’s just all-around life – just to try to get myself together and be a better person.”

Anderson revealed last year that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. The incidents occurred when he was 9 and 11, right when he started getting a lot of attention for his basketball ability.

“I threw the skeletons in the closet and didn’t say nothing to nobody and held it in there for about 30 years,” Odom said. “Once I (came out about my abuse), I had to get help. I had to get some therapy on it. Because you start looking at people, (and) people start looking at you. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, ‘It’s my fault.’ You don’t know how to handle that. As a kid, I didn’t know how to handle it. And still, I’m getting better handling it as a grown man, an adult. It’s something I had to do. It’s a trying thing.”

Anderson will be speaking at a children’s center in Portland next week.

“I’m going to tell my story and help other people,” he said. “That’s all it’s about. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything. Some of these kids don’t have anything. I had basketball. I put the mask on and I was living a great life. But you act out with money and fame, and then I had that in me, my demons – and that was the wrong mixture. So I acted out and did certain things that I wouldn’t normally (have done) probably if that hadn’t happened to me as a child.”

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