Jennings' Pre-Rookie of Year Award Film Festival
(The truth speaks for itself. Damn. This boy is bad! 'Nuff said. Donnie Walsh, you messed up big time buddy. )
My Brother Statesman, you got me, sorta, kinda, on that last message. For the first time since the summer league, I re-read what I wrote about Brandon Jennings during the summer league. I also re-read what was written by IGM before the draft. You are correct that Jennings' attitude was not raised as a major factor in the article you decided to cite. Unfortunately, time forced me to rely on your characterization of my words in arguing a position with you. That was a no, no for you are extremely selective when taking my words out of context and avoiding the nuance. Rule #1: Trust but verify. I did not verify whether your written evidentiary support was valid. My bad, I forgot you aim more for proving me wrong than accuracy. Time for some accuracy.
If you will recall, IGM's observations regarding whether Brandon Jennings should be drafted as a Knick had more to do with New York's ability to help him realize his potential than it did with his potential. The entire piece can be read here at the old site. IGM wrote:
I have looked at all of the available tape several times over and I am certain that it would be a mistake for Brandon to become a New York Knick. He would be better suited for a stable veteran environment where he can be brought along slowly and without the added pressure of the Big Apple and some of their rotten fans. . . .
Are the Knicks a good spot for an unrefined, raw talent? I am not aware of D'Antoni, a point guard himself, ever training a guard this raw. Perhaps Duhon would take Brandon under his wings, but Duhon has his own issues with the D'Antoni offensive system. Quentin Richardson goes out of his way to help youngsters as he has Lee, Robinson and Chandler, but will Richardson be around. But aren't Q's days as a Knicks' senior statesman numbered?
Brandon Jennings may eventually prove that he is worthy of the hype, but for now, IGM believes it is best to catch this pick on the rebound, at the end of a three year contract with his first NBA team. Those who like the kid should wish him the best and hope that he is picked up by an organization that will give him the attention and court time - even in the Developmental League - that he needs to realize his potential. Otherwise, he will just be more fodder for the NBA mill.
It should also be noted that I,GM was clear that Jennings should not be drafted by New York for his own good. However, at the very beginning of the analysis I,GM gushed about the kids skills and admitted that his recommendation, against the talent observations, would possibly come back to haunt him. I,GM wrote:
OMG. WOW. Brandon Jennings has mad, mad skills. Viewing most of the videotapes is an absolute pleasure. Some of the film makes me feel even worse that I am not recommending him for lottery draft position because this is one analysis that could really come back to bite me. Sometimes GMs and Incidental GMs get it wrong. But, I've got to go with my gut - what I see, what I know and what I feel. The bottom line is that there is no way (as Knick GM) I could pick Brandon Jennings over Stephen Curry (and others) in the 2009 draft. (If you look closely at the Europe videotapes, most of you will see why.)
There is one line in the analysis which I must admit you did not take out of context, but that was because it was never put into it's proper context. The line "IMHO, however, the arc of his story suggests that he will be a journeyman free agent for a few years before he becomes a serviceable role player for a veteran squad." has a paragraph of its own and sticks out like a busted big toe. But it does nto fit the rest of the analysis. The intent of that statement in context was to suggest that without the proper support and guidance, Jennings life story would be like so many other talented kids seeking their dreams in the NBA, hence the term "arc of the story suggests." It was not intended to suggest that the gentleman was doomed to fail as your citation insists. But, you got me there because that was poorly written and poorly placed, but that was not I,GM's intent and it does not fit with the rest of the analysis as is.
More importantly, in re-reading my Jennings commentary, I also noticed that while you decided to link IGM and Lives in a way I intentionally have not, because they individually serve two different purposes, you failed to note that Lives real live summer league observations about Jenning's game were significantly different as was the improvement in Jennings game: After seeing Jennings live, I wrote:
IGM and Statesman (and O&B), I saw Brandon Jennings and he conquered part of my personal trepidation about his game. Let's start with the good stuff because I dare the MSM (Mainstream Media) to pick up on this. Brandon Jennings was an absolute gentleman as he was attentive to his summer league coach and complimentary to a fault to teammates who performed well, especially after one of his deft fastball passes.
I mention this first, because personally I wouldn't trust the MSM, led by ESPN these days, to treat Mr. Jennings fairly although he is just barely a young kid. So far his youthful bravado and the honesty flowing from his brain to his mouth like a broken water faucet have made him a target for the media which is quick to look for and create tantalizing content. Now the Mainstream Media (reporters and producers alike) is just "laying in the cut" for an opportunity to extend the negative characterization of Jennings - therefore ignoring the fact that he is just a growing kid entering unfamiliar territory in life. If he gives them a little fodder, his maturation will be unfairly ignored and he will be sold iconically as the next Terrill Owens or Mike Tyson to start newscasts and tantalize viewers.
Brandon Jennings, in my mind, can undoubtedly play NBA ball, despite his reported travails in Europe. Not much of a revelation, except that I saw no reason why he shouldn't be in the NBA for a while, eventually gaining a starting role, probably this year. I don't fully understand why he wasn't playing more in Europe, except that he was a junior member of the team and did not garner the respect and deference reserved for the vets on his team.
Jenning's biggest problems are his ability to hit a jumper and his size. He is lanky, like Nick Young and, sorta kinda, Shaun Livingston, but he weighs about as much as a ‘kerchief. He is going to have his ass handed to him defensively for a while. All it takes to beat him is strength and speed. The speed he has on offense does him no good the way he sizes up his man on offense. He does not play the defender straight up. It seems that he tries to lean the defender to the off hand which doesn't work much in the NBA. He was blown by regularly. Secondly, whenever he gets hit in the chest while defending someone driving to the basket, he flies backwards like an autumn leaf. Former Knick, old man Mark Jackson, of booty bumping legend, could still score 50 points on this kid by backing him down all day.
He is so thin. My little sister's wrists are as big as his ankles. He needs to develop his body. With Nick Young's physique and better lateral movement, Jennings could be a two-way terror.
I love his confidence and the fact that his teammates know that the ball should be in his hands. As soon as the ball is rebounded the outlet goes to Jennings and no one else. He is always a threat to run by you and his coach was constantly encouraging him to speed up the tempo. His drives to the basket are as nice in person as they are on tape. Despite his lack of weight, he has such control over the ball that he knows how to score under the basket with contact. Just an absolute joy to watch.
I also noticed that his passes generally are not fancy. He will showboat every once in a while, but his passes are like Dwight Gooden fast balls: right on the money. He is an excellent judge of the speed at which his teammate is moving and the ball hits them right on the spot.
Bottom line: Jennings was a good pick by Milwaukee from what I have seen. He has been one of the bright spots in the NBA Summer League. I hope for him that he is able to concentrate on his game which will force the media not to concentrate on his mouth. The reputation has been built, but it can be changed especially if he does not take the bait from the media when he gets into New York and they ask him about his "F*ck The Knicks" comments (which were apparently the same sentiments held by mature free agents this summer. LOL).
It is no secret that personal observations of players should be better than observations of tape. He looked much better in person than he did on tape, but part of that was that he has been practicing his shot incessantly, as he noted in a tape above in his discussion with (and challenge to) Eric Snow. The man has developed. As I always say, it is impossible to measure heart until it it revealed. Brandon Jennings is no joke; he is out to prove everyone wrong. But the reality is that by pumping up his effort he proves anybody that says he needed to improve his craft right.
My major points remain the same as they were from the very beginning. In order to be good, he had to get better. The issue was never could he, but would he. Still, if I had the resources of an NBA general manager and I didn't do full due diligence on this baller and I needed a leader with his skills but passed him by in favor of a much lesser talent, then I, as GM, should be marked, mocked and ridiculed for the rest of Jennings' career.
Rogue Ref Calls: We've just received an introductory message from the new twitter account of FireMikeDAntoni -- "@LINJLNY I present to you on behalf of all intelligent beleagured Knicks fans - the new twitter page "FireMikeDantoni" - Oh it's true." . . . My wife, a woman of great social skills, advises that the Knicks should send the winless Nets a bouquet of flowers to thank them for being worse than the Knicks. Dwyane Wade kept their winless streak going with a last second tre that sealed an 81-80 victory. Perhaps we should send Wade some roses too.
Previous Related Posts:
IS BRANDON JENNINGS PLAYING THE MEDIA (AND US) WITH RUBIO DISS?
Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Brandon Jennings
Las Vegas Summer League Diary, Day 2, Part 2: The Summer Maturation of Brandon Jennings - Now Print That MSM!!!