The name Kerry Kittles rolls off the tongue nicely and that’s why he makes it into my top 5, coolest NBA names. Kittles was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the 8th pick of the 1996 draft. The shooting guard’s rookie year was more than impressive averaging 16.4 points per game and looked to be very composed at an NBA level. Kittles then took his game up a gear the next season amassing 17.2 points a game and shooting 42% from the 3-point line.
The Nets had looked to have struck gold by signing the lanky 6-5 sensation. Unfortunately for Kittles, his next two seasons would be riddled by injuries struggling to get continuity, his scoring averages would decline. Kittles would then miss the entire 2000-2001 season due to an injury to his right knee. His career was at the crossroads, and if he could not get healthy, he risked falling out of favour very quickly.
The basketball Gods were listening though, as Kittles played all 82 games of the 2001-2002 season. The New Jersey Nets under the their new general Jason Kidd would finish top the Eastern Conference standings and go on to become the Eastern Conference Champs. Kerry Kittles would play a big role in their success forming a great combination with Kidd at the guard spots. He averaged 13.4 points per game that year, which would almost take the Nets to championship glory…until they would be swept in the NBA finals by a Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant led Lakers.
Click link for some Kittle’s highlights:
Deja Vu would strike again the very next season as the New Jersey Nets would become back to back Eastern Conference Champions. Kittles would have almost identical numbers averaging 13 points a game. The Nets again lost in the finals, this time to the San Antonio Spurs. Although Kittles did not get a championship ring during his NBA career. The two years that New Jersey made back to back finals appearances were filled with some scintillating basketball. The Nets had Jason Kidd at point guard who worked beautifully, with the likes of Kerry Kittles, Keith Van Horn, Richard Jefferson and Kenyon Martin, and boy did they have the crowds rocking in New Jersey.
Shortly after the New Jersey Net’s glory days, Kittles was traded to the LA Clippers, but due to ongoing injuries he would only play 11 games, forcing him to retire after the 2004-2005 season. I don’t think we ever got to see the full potential of what Kerry Kittles had to offer to the world of NBA basketball. However, what we did see was a very accomplished, efficient and polished player who has played a great part in the history of the New Jersey Nets.
Kerry Kittles earned more than $50 million over the course of his NBA career.
His career high in scoring was 40 points.