Brooklyn Nets: Kerry Kittles battled Michael Jordan in 1998

Kerry Kittles,New Jersey Nets, Brooklyn Nets
Kerry Kittles,New Jersey Nets, Brooklyn Nets /

The popularity surrounding ESPN’s 10-Part documentary “The Last Dance” didn’t do Brooklyn Nets franchise favorite Kerry Kittles any justice.

ESPN’s 10-part documentary on the 1998 NBA champion Chicago Bulls has captivated basketball fans of all eras. The nostalgia of the 1990s basketball has reminded fans of the many players and rivalries Michael Jordan faced during his career. Brooklyn Nets franchise legend Kerry Kittles was briefly shown in highlights battling Jordan back when the team called New Jersey home.

Kittles and the upstart Nets were heavy underdogs heading into their first-round playoff matchup with the Bulls. Jordan spoke about being overconfident when facing off with the New Jersey squad that featured head coach John Calipari and all-star center Jayson Williams. The Nets were able to push Chicago in game one, sending it to overtime before coming up short, signaling their best chance in the ill-fated series sweep.

The former Villanova shooting guard was matched up against Jordan in each game as “His Airness” went on to average 36.5 points in the three-game series. Kittles averaged 16 points against the highly ranked Bulls defense. He spoke about the matchup on former coach Calipari’s podcast earlier this week.

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"“He was Michael, He had the ability to flip the switch whenever he wanted on either side of the court. So I caught the brunt of it as a young player in the league where I had it going one night in the first half, and then he switched on me in the second half I don’t even think I scored a bucket in the second half. So that was Michael in a nutshell, being able to put on that switch and just take over a game.”"

Kittles’s best scoring performance was in Game 2 when he recorded 23 points while facing the wrath of Jordan. The podcast “Coffee With Cal” also featured Sam Cassell, Keith Van Horn, and Sherman Douglas as they reflected on their 1998 matchup with the Bulls. The Nets lost all seven matchups (including regular season) against the eventual 1998 champions.

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Kittles’ most notable seasons came later on in the early 2000s alongside hall of fame point guard Jason Kidd. Those Nets teams won back to back Eastern Conference championships and will forever be remembered for their fast-paced offense.