Brandon Jennings puts a spoon in the pot and moves it around

Brandon Jennings (along with Jonny Flynn and Jrue Holliday) worked out for the Kings today and while the workout was interesting, the real good stuff came in the interviews. Basically, Jennings, who played once against Ricky Rubio in Europe last season, called the young Spaniard out (video in the link – the good stuff starts at about 5:00).

Well, put it like this: If he was in a workout with me [and fellow point-guards] Jonny Flynn, Jrue Holiday, Tywon Lawson, Stephen Curry, he wouldn’t probably be at the top.

But he wasn’t finished. He was then asked if he thought he was a better player than Rubio.

Yeah, I think I’m a better player than he is. I just shoot the ball better than he can. The only thing I’ve seen him do sometimes is when he has a home-run pass or something like that. I think the dude is just all hype. I can’t even front. I’m just going to be real with you guys.

Strong words. (And how awkward was that for poor Jonny Flynn. He was just trying to laugh it off.) And yes, Rubio didn’t score in their head-to-head, but he played just eight minutes, according to this USA Today recap of the game. Rubio also didn’t attempt a shot as he was still playing one-handed due to his broken wrist. Jennings had 12 points and two assists in 23 minutes.

Lang Whitaker of SLAM was there and has an incredibly detailed recap of the game:

With 5:52 left in the first and the score tied at 10, Ricky checks in. Six seconds later he strips Jaaber for a steal. Brandon responds by running out on a break and getting a layup. He immediately goes coast to coast again and scores two more … I find myself watching Brandon more than Ricky, because I already know Ricky can play at the next level — I mean, dude was holding his own at the Olympics against the Redeem Team. Brandon’s the more unknown commodity right now, although I’ve watched five minutes of this game and I see no reason he won’t be going in the lottery next year.

Whitaker also says he thought Jennings had more than just two assists in the game, but didn’t declare either a better player than the other, calling both of them “lottery players.”

Obviously, I think this is a case of a kid in Jennings who has been bypassed by Rubio in the hype department and Jennings is trying to steal back a little of that spotlight. How could he really know if Rubio was the real deal in just eight minutes? They barely got to see either of each other. Now, as I’ve written before, I do agree that the hype machine is a bit out of control with Rubio, but Jennings’ comments were strange. They came off as straight up boasting. Like, “Don’t look at him. Look at me.” But it is all a business and everybody is out to help themselves. And he’s sure to have people talking about both him and Rubio.

I think Brandon Jennings is a better player than people think he is. He was the top recruit in the country in 2008 before he decided to play in Europe. He’s a skilled point guard. But I don’t see how he’s helping himself trying to run down Rubio. At first I figured his comments had weight since he played against Rubio. But now that you look at the details and facts of the situation, you see it’s nothing more than just talk. Between this and the comments he had about Tyreke Evans and Holliday, it’s pretty clear that Jennings can run his mouth a little bit.

We know about as much about Ricky Rubio as we do about Brandon Jennings. Except we’ve seen Rubio take on the best in the world. We’ve yet to see more than a mixtape and some workout footage from Jennings.

But then again, make what you want of it. Just 12 more days…

Alex
2009-06-12 17:32:53
That was awesome...100x more interesting than James Harden's interview. Until he falls flat on his face in the NBA, I like the big personality coming from Jennings...way better than coach speak.
Nix
2009-06-12 20:06:10
<a href="#comment-10436" rel="nofollow">@Royce</a> No credibility... Jennings said they played equal minutes and that Jennings had 6 assists...both incorrect... He also knocked two other players the other day. No cred...
Royce
2009-06-12 20:32:14
<a href="#comment-10440" rel="nofollow">@Nix</a> Yep, pretty much how I felt.
Sammy
2009-06-12 15:40:30
Screw Brandon Jennings. Even if he his skilled, I don't want any part of him and his ego on any team of mine. He seems like the type of player that would rather make $100 mil on a perennial lottery team than $60 mil on a title contender.
Jax Raging Bile Duct
2009-06-12 16:00:20
I like how vocal he is. I don't like how immature he is.
Jordan
2009-06-12 16:13:15
He was asked in the interview about Ricky Rubio. Never said anything bad about him until he was specifically asked what he thought. He just gave an honest answer. And after he gave his answer, he was asked if he thought he was better than him. Confidence can come off sounding cocky, and there was probably a hint of smugness mixed in with what he was saying, but it's not like he set out to smudge Ricky Rubio. Remember, he's 19 years old and has been playing with men in the EuroLeague and he's very talented. He's got every right to think highly of himself, although, as he admitted elsewhere in the interview, he still has to work on his shot. Look, the draft is quickly approaching. Being drafted at the top is not only about honor and achievement, its also about a lot of money at stake. Let's be real, the NBA is these kids' future vocation. If you could get more money at your job based on how people perceived you, then you would do quite a bit to make sure you were perceived the right way. Talking very much included. Besides, it's not like he's all talk. He went up against the best college point guards and impressed.
Sammy
2009-06-12 16:24:17
<a href="#comment-10423" rel="nofollow">@Jordan</a> It's fine to want to get paid. But I have a problem with players for whom that is their primary motivation. From Brandon's twitter: BJennings3: Most Important thing about the Draft/NBA, Get on a TEAM that fits your game and kill those 3yrs and GET THAT Big 2nd contract! Really, Brandon? That's the most important thing? Cause I can think of a few players who place a higher priority on winning and being the best possible players they can be.
Dylan
2009-06-12 16:26:34
I read "Brandon Jennings" and "pot" and kind of got the wrong idea
Nix
2009-06-12 16:32:20
<a href="#comment-10421" rel="nofollow">@Jax Raging Bile Duct</a> Yea, you think he would be the most mature of all these players. It gives a lot of insight as to why he didn't get a lot of minutes. They don't deal with drama in the euroleague.
Nix
2009-06-12 16:34:25
<a href="#comment-10423" rel="nofollow">@Jordan</a> Coming off as immature probably doesn't help you get paid.
Kev
2009-06-12 17:06:18
From what I've read - he played very little down the stretch - I think he was also deactivated for a few games - if so, that's NOT a good time to be bragging when you can't even get off the bench . . .
Joe
2009-06-12 19:27:03
There is a saying that there is "no such thing as bad publicity"..... I wonder if that's true in Jenning's case.
Royce
2009-06-12 19:23:39
<a href="#comment-10428" rel="nofollow">@Kev</a> He has talked about how his experience was pretty bad and how he wouldn't recommend it. He really should have gone to college for a season. <a href="#comment-10431" rel="nofollow">@Alex</a> It definitely wasn't your ordinary, "Yeah, I'm just trying to focus on my game" talk. Like I said, he's going to get people's attention and he's going to get people talking about him. Which if that's what he wanted, mission accomplished. Everybody is talking about Jennings though. Do you guys feel like what he said about Rubio could have any validity?
Kev
2009-06-13 07:25:54
lease = least (that's what I get for not proofreading)
Kev
2009-06-13 07:25:21
I love talk as much as anyone - but at lease have some kind of track record before you open your mouth - he dod VERY LITTLE this past year, so he just needs to shut up . . .
Royce
2009-06-13 08:42:18
One thing I was thinking about: Jennings didn't go to college so he never got debriefed by a Sports Information Director about how to handle media questions. And I'm sure he never really dealt a whole lot with media in Europe, so honestly, he probably just doesn't know any better.
Kev
2009-06-13 08:51:15
doesn't he have an agent?? I thought agents were supposed to help in those situations??
Keith
2009-06-14 18:41:42
The funny thing I see here is that Jennings, despite talent, was considered very immature coming out of high school. The whole jump to Europe was billed as a big mistake because he wasn't going to be mentally ready for what that entailed. Considering how he all but bombed in Europe and is now claiming himself to be the best PG in the draft, it seems he hasn't grown much. Not really a Presti guy.