The SuperSonics' Kenny Anderson moves back to defend in a...

The SuperSonics' Kenny Anderson moves back to defend in a game against Spurs in Seattle, Wash., Jan. 8, 2003.  Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS/ELAINE THOMPSON

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson played his high school basketball in the Long Island suburbs, but he always had a deep admiration for another point guard named Kenny from New York City. So, Atkinson took it personally when he heard the recent news that schoolboy legend Kenny Anderson had suffered a stroke last Saturday.

Asked before the Nets faced the Wizards Wednesday night at Barclays Center for his thoughts on Anderson, Atkinson said, “Best high school player I ever saw. Well, it’s between him and Pearl Washington. I think those two guys. I’ll never forget watching Pearl score 52 points in the Newsday Classic on Long Island; he never even warmed up. He stayed on the bench, no warmups, no layups and then he dropped 52 on Long Island.

“But Kenny, I played against him [once for Richmond in 1989] at Georgia Tech. Incredible high school player, incredible college player. I always said about Kenny, he had like a sixth sense, that city sense that guys like me didn’t have, an incredible instinct to steal the ball, to see the court, quick. The Tiny Archibald comparison, I loved that. I was a huge Kenny Anderson fan, and in awe of what a great player he was. So, prayers to him and his family.”

Dinwiddie misses 14th game, but return is imminent

Spencer Dinwiddie sat out his 14th straight game since undergoing surgery to repair torn right thumb ligaments, but he was on the court before the Wizards game shooting and has not worn any support on his right hand for several days. “He’s very close to returning,” Atkinson admitted. “Very close. I’ll leave it at that … He’s been doing a lot on court. I think he’s close to being ready.” 

Dinwiddie likely will be evaluated after practice on Thursday before the Nets determine if he can return Friday at home against Charlotte or Saturday in Miami. Because it’s his thumb and he’s been shooting, it’s possible he might participate in a back-to-back.

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