Kenny Anderson grew up in Queens, but once he was drafted second overall by the New Jersey Nets in 1991 and spent five seasons with the team, in his mind he became a Net for life.
So he hopes the team finds a way to keep Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, at least a little while longer.
“I’m a Net, so I would like to see them stay for one more year and see how it goes, and then take off,” Anderson said on Tuesday at a screening in Manhattan of “NYC Point Gods,” a Showtime documentary premiering on Friday.
“The money issue is big here. The players have more control now, which is great. But being a fan, I don’t care about the Knicks, I care about the Nets.”
Anderson said he was counting on the fact the complicated nature of any trade involving Durant and to a lesser extent Irving might take until midseason to sort out.
“That’s a great thing, because I’m saying, ‘If they play a half [season], why not play the whole?’ ” Anderson said with a laugh.
Anderson grew up in New York and played in New Jersey. Irving grew up in New Jersey and plays in New York.
“His basketball IQ is high,” Anderson said of Irving. “He’s a special player. I just hope he stays with the Nets and him and Kevin Durant bring a championship home.
“It’s going to be hard, but if they play together with the pieces they put together, it will be a little better than last year, I think. But we’ll have to see.”
Durant was at the event as an executive producer of the documentary. But after posing for pictures on the red carpet, he did not stop to speak to reporters about his reported desire to be traded from the Nets.
His manager, Rich Kleiman, another executive producer, stopped to chat about the film but not about Durant.
“NYC Point Gods” celebrates iconic point guards of the 1980s and '90s, so the event attracted a who’s who of basketball figures from that era, including Mark Jackson, Rod Strickland, God Shammgod, Rafer Alston and Metta Sandiford-Artest.
Nancy Lieberman and the Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu, women’s stars past and present, also were there.
“It’s a blessing, a long time coming,” Anderson said of the nod to New York guards. “Mark Jackson, Kenny Smith, Rod Strickland, Boo Harvey and then the best: Pearl Washington. That’s who in my eyes is the best from New York City: Pearl Washington.”
Washington died in 2016, but his family was at the screening.
“It’s the competitive edge we have, the ballhandling skills, being a coach on the floor,” said Anderson, a four-time New York Newsday All-City player in the late 1980s.
“And most of us had different things that we were fighting — demons.”
Alston, whose nickname is “Skip to My Lou,” said New York guards have the benefit of watching their predecessors play in person, allowing generations to pass along skills and inspiration.
“The greatest thing is that we were all able to touch each other and see each other live in the flesh,” he said. “We’re happy to see the next youngster come up through the ranks.”
As for his enduring nickname, he said, that “is definitely amazing. It’s great to hear my real name sometimes, that’s the beauty of it. I had no idea a nickname out of a nursery rhyme would take on a life of its own, not just here in the U.S. but abroad.”
The recent ESPN film, “The Greatest Mixtape Ever,” featured Alston.
“They made me a star again, in high demand,” he said with a laugh. “It’s fun, it’s amazing, the lives I was able to touch, the youngsters I was able to reach and then even the professional ranks.”
Artest was a forward, but he said playing with and against New York City point guards helped his game.
Like Anderson, Alston and Artest, Jackson grew up in Queens.
Jackson played his first five NBA seasons with the Knicks, ending with a seven-game conference semifinal loss to the Bulls in 1992 that brought significant changes to the roster. Jackson was traded to the Clippers.
“We had Samson on the ropes,” Jackson said, referring to Michael Jordan. “I believe if we stay together we beat him.”
Kleiman called Jackson an early “idol” who now is a friend. At 45 and as a native New Yorker, Kleiman is in a generational sweet spot for the film.
“I don’t know if everyone else cares like we care about this stuff,” he said. “I hope they do, but the feeling you get when you watch it, I hope they connect."