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Monday, January 26th, 2009 at 12:39 pm  |  67 responses

The Truth About Jennings

Who knew getting paid to improve your Draft status could be a cautionary tale?

by Ryan Jones

The, um, “news” broke Friday in a New York Times story headlined “Brandon Jennings Sends Home a Warning From Europe.” The gist, if you haven’t seen it, is that Jennings has some regrets about skipping college and jumping to Italy for a year of pre-NBA professional hoops. Specifically, Jennings laments:

“I’ve gotten paid on time once this year… They treat me like I’m a little kid. They don’t see me as a man. If you get on a good team, you might not play a lot. Some nights you’ll play a lot; some nights you won’t play at all. That’s just how it is… I don’t see too many kids doing it. It’s tough man, I’ll tell you that. It can break you.”

Well, fair points, and, as they’ve come straight from the player’s mouth, none I can argue with. If you care to, you might remember that I came out pretty hard (twice, actually) in support of Brandon making this jump, which put me firmly in the minority among media folk. As such, I guess I should be feeling a little humbled by this news. But I find I’m not. Not really.

The one thing I’ll cop to is giving European basketball teams (or this one, at least) too much credit for being able to CTC on time. I knew the rep of Euro teams frustrating their players with late (or non-existent) payments, but I guess I was convinced by the fact that this deal got so much publicity—not to mention the benefit of Sonny Vaccaro’s involvement—that the folks at Lottomatica Virtus Roma would’ve stepped up. Apparently they haven’t, which seems awfully short-sighted for them as a club, and for European hoops in general. If they were handling things better, it might’ve made Europe a much more attractive destination for the kids in the Class of ’09 and beyond who will, and still might, consider following Brandon’s lead.

So, my bad on trusting some Romans to pay their bills (I also didn’t foresee the global financial crisis that would bring the Euro down to the level of the weak dollar, thus making the decision a lot less lucrative — but then, hey, neither did Alan f*cking Greenspan). Otherwise, though, this latest blurb in the Brandon Jennings story has only reinforced for me how much someone, anyone needed to challenge the NCAA. I had it in mind Friday night when I watched ’09 stud Renardo Sidney (one of the kids who had been pretty seriously considering the Euro option, although he apparently isn’t now) and his Fairfax squad run through 2010 Louisville signee Jeremy Tyler and San Diego High on ESPN. Sidney, of course, is the insanely skilled big man who’s on the Amar’e Stoudemire pace for career high school stops, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him (with Sonny’s blessing) give Europe a try. That he probably won’t now is fine; if he finds a college situation he’s happy with, and if a year or two in the NCAA helps him prepare for the NBA, more power to him.

Then came Saturday night, when I sat in the press room before the Penn State-Iowa game and saw ESPN scrolling the Jennings’ “warning” as some sort of breaking news along their bottom-line feed. This was during the broadcast of a college basketball game (Wisconsin-Illinois, I think) so it made such beautiful sense for the network of universal coach apologists like Dickie V (who I mostly like, honest) and Big Monday and everything else to run snippets of Jennings’ quotes. If you didn’t actually read the Times story, and only saw the ticker (or read the follow-up gloating of some national columnists), you’d think Jennings was on the next boat home, a miserable, apologetic prodigal son.

Except, here’s what the ESPN crawl didn’t mention, and what the Times story sort of buried:

Jennings acknowledged that the journey had helped him mature, and he said the rigors of playing in Europe may benefit others…

An N.B.A. assistant coach who has been to Europe and has watched Jennings play said his potential draft standing had not been harmed. “I think it is good for him. He was getting a defensive component that he needed. If I was a scout and I needed a point guard, I would be extremely impressed with what he has done over there.”

So he’s homesick, and he’s had to accept a different role than he was used to, and his coach doesn’t respect him, and his playing time isn’t guaranteed. I imagine all of that sucks. I’d also point out that those are exactly the same reasons why dozens of D1 kids each year transfer from one school to another, or drop out altogether, but I digress — and I give Brandon credit both for surviving it, and manning up enough to admit it. I didn’t need more reasons to like the kid, but there you go.

But then, oh, by the way: Jennings acknowledged that the journey had helped him mature. Well, that’s something, right? And then, the NBA assistant, saying he was “extremely impressed” by what Jennings has done in Europe. If I’m following this correctly, Jennings will come back from eight or nine months in Europe a more mature person and a more well-rounded player — AND he got paid (even if it wasn’t always on time) something like $1 million for his trouble? That doesn’t actually sound so horrible, does it? I hope I’m not the only one who’s offended by a predictably one-sided take on this.

Listen, I love college basketball. I don’t want to see the sport collapse, and I know there’s plenty of value (both tangible and intangible) in kids going to school and playing ball. I don’t want to see the best American high school kids playing in Europe. But I am immovable in my certainty that the NCAA takes advantage of many of these kids, that college coaches and entire programs sell their players a bill of goods and then don’t follow through (ask Eric Gordon how he liked his year at Indiana), and that anything that challenges the system is, and remains, a good thing.

Oh, and I wish the media didn’t suck. But I know better.

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  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    That was a pretty smooth way for you to say “I may have been wrong about this whole thing gung-ho to Europe thing”. You are truly, the man.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    *whole gung-ho to Europe thing.

    BTW…..can’t hate the kid for doing it…..and like you said he’ll have made a million and has an endorsement with Under Armor. If anything, the fact that he didn’t go over there and turn the competition on it’s ear may bode well for him if (when) he returns home with a bit of humble pie stuck in his craw to keep him battling to keep his name in the conversation of top young prospects.

  • albertBarr

    What I think the Euro teams are doing is shooting themselves in the foot…getting paid on time is important to any employee, from Baristas to Barristers. The reputation they are building is that, when you come over here, you are going to be so far from your support network that we can f— with you and jerk you around until we see fit to follow through with our contractual promises. Nice work Euroball.

  • Marin

    great piece. I think it was the right move for him to make, but I don’t think anyone (Jennings, You, Sonny) could know all the bumps in the road. Most draft boards still have him as a lottery pick, and I’d expect him to be better-prepared for an NBA coach, and game against grown men.

    Like you said, he’ll get about $1 million out of it, and he probably may not have ever traveled abroad without this. I never thought the late checks would happen, but I never thought the global financial community would sh*t the bed.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I loved the Times story and I love Ryan’s take on it. ESPN’s? Not so much.

  • jsmoove

    Ryan, great work. It’s nice to hear both sides of the story, rather than just the fear/shock inducing headlines this country is so eager to read.

    In retrospect, I still agree with your original thought that the Euro trail was the best fit for Jennings. Like you said, NCAA still takes advantage of most kids, and coddles the stars. Jennings will be more prepared for the NBA, and a better man after his Euro trip.

  • http://docfunk.blogspot.com Doc Funk

    ESPN rather than trying to protect their own interests (NCAAB) should be trying to capitalize on the globalization of the game. They could snatch up a euroleague TV deal on the cheap like they did with college bball 25 years ago.

  • http://www.jcherot.blogspot.com Tripset30

    You nailed it, Ryan. College basketball–and more importantly college–isn’t for everybody. He may bitch about not getting paid on time, but the fact of the matter is that he, unlike a player like Tyreke Evans, is getting paid for his services. I love college ball as much as the next guy (if not more so), but as that hook in Nas’ song goes, “In this life there’s pimps and hoes, tell me which one are you…”.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    I’ve met Brandon, watched him play Duncanville last year, as well as filmed it…And I don’t think this is bad for him. It’s a hardship, and he gets paid late, but this is just going to make the NBA that much more of a passion of his when he gets drafted.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBQEmmgDl9I Boing Dynasty

    The other guy who dosnt pay to have sex with filthy creatures?

  • dunkbar

    “They don’t see me as a man”?!? you’re 18 years old, playing with seasoned veterans and are part of a basketball style that emphasizes everything you didn’t have to focus on up until now because everyone was kissing your behind – like team basketball and defense – yet you still find time to complain about it. tells you how much people know about european basketball when everyone is all surprised about this. by the way: not getting paid depends on where you go in europe. ansu sesay (former mvp of the nbdl) and casey jacobsen are getting paid correctly by alba berlin in germany :o ).

  • http://myspace.com/mavus15 Mavus

    *David Stern smiles*

    Man… that rule is a joke.. The great stars in the NBA right now, came out of high school – Lebron, Garnett, Kobe, McGrady, Howard, Stoudamire, etc… Come on.. There will always be those who fall, but for the most part, those who did make the jump became or are becoming great players…

  • Sean

    A dollar is currently worth 76 Euro cents…
    Just wanted to point that out.

  • http://www.bbl.org.uk Josh D

    Damn,i wish the move would’ve worked for brandon, i’m british and this can only be good for the euroleague, i was hoping i could see american high schoolers play when Britain gets a Euroleague, ULEB Cup, or European Challenge cup team(i’m waiting,FIBA Europe)

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    by the way Ryan, the potential next overseas out of HS player, Renardo Sidney- I just did a piece on him along with the video we did on him @ the pacific shores tourney. It’s up on the media section, that’ll give you an idea of what he’s like.

  • Cizzo

    Stay U.S.Bound if you aint cot out for this, and if the Euro league was such a great thing why do the foreign players head to the U.S.?

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    Co-sign this entire article, except for the part about liking Dickie V.

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Some of this had to have been expected, right? Great article, Ryan.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    B. Long, welcome to the world, check your facebook! Wifey has a request ASAP! haahah

  • Tom

    Not getting paid on time is one of the reason why i could never see someone like kobe or lebron seriously considering going to europe. Of course those guys are big enough and have enough money to have good lawyers to have it written in the contract that if they aren’t paid, they are owed interest or if paid late 2 weeks in a row then contract is void and player can go back to the NBA.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    @ Justin Walsh, nice work on the vid… not sure if you knew, but I did a Slam feature on Renardo about two years ago, been watching him since his snot-nosed ABCD Camp days. (I will try not to take it personal that you quoted the SI piece on him when you could’ve quoted mine…) Kid’s still got some issues to sort out, but as far as size and skill set, he’s pretty much untouchable. Hopefully he keeps it together.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    All that talk of Kobe or Bron siging overseas for 30 mill should be deaded right now. They can barely afford to pay what amounts to NBA minimun deals. Jennings took the risk of going to Europe and it has payed in some ways and may have had some costs as well. I don’t see it hurting his draft stock or NBA future at all. He already has the deal with Under Armor, I actually think he will come back to the states eager to play some US style ball and make his name in the league. He chose the money over going to college and playing for “free”, that was his choice.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    sorry Ryan, I didn’t actually know that SLAM did any coverage in depth on Sidney as of yet. By ABCD camp days are we talking the 14 year old 6’8 PG from Mississippi? That’s what he used to be pegged as by Sonny! He’s gotten it together this year so far, he just needs to remember his goals sometimes. But his attitude is MUCH improved over last year, and that’s the biggest knock on him

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Yeah Justin, I know you’re one of them young whippersnappers… We need to get you familiar with the archive. Check ish 111, the Tony Parker post-Finals issue from ’07. Five-page feature with a dope photo shoot, headline: The Difference. (I know you’ll like that).
    And the PG stuff isn’t that far-fetched. His handle is ridiculous for a kid his size. I haven’t seen much of him since then, and I remember that he had some growing up to do, but what 16-year-old doesn’t? Pops seems like a good dude. I think he’ll be ok.
    Oh, and later we can talk about how I once saw this kid from Akron play in high school, too…

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    We can talk about LBJ as long as we stay away from overhyped football stories and Bill Walton/Jay Bilas color commentary from when his games were on ESPN! haha. By the way, he does have filthy handle for his size, that’s for sure, but I think he listed himself as EXACTLY what he is. “Point-Forward”

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    and I’ll be getting one of those “back issues” for 111. By the way, I’ve been reading SLAM For longer than when that ish was out, I just didnt buy every issue consecutively at the time. But yes, I AM a young whippersnapper! But with a good eye for talent.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Not the Scottie Pippen version, but accurate nonetheless.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    Yeah, more the Lamar Odom type from when I see him, just with way more potential.

  • http://www.slamonline.comi Jake Appleman

    How could you bring up Big Monday and not mention that it’s sponsored by Bud Light. Bud Light has been sponsoring Big Monday for years and it’s winter time, when people are less inclined to drink water–a time when they can also drink water–as opposed to summertime when they want to pretend to get buzzed by drinking water. You’re a jerk. And I heart you. This message contains 4.5% awesomeness by volume. [shotguns a hefe-weizen]

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Hefeweizen should be savored, not shotgunned, Jake. Dummy.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    What a comment. Jake Appleman, everybody! “Ladies and Gentlemen, they NEW YORK KNICKS”

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    THE*. thank spelling errors for ruining a good line!

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    From what I’m getting out of this story, Jennings learned to D up, play within a team concept and got some tough love. Those three things put him ahead of a lot of prep stars and one-and-done’s. Being late on the checks is effing unacceptable though, don’t they do direct deposit in Europe?!?!

  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com nbk

    It is most every american is europe right now Z….they are paying the locals first because the checks have less clearance type crap to go through… You will see every american who signed in europe that still has an NBA career back in the next 2 years

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Good job of cutting through the NCAA-fueled rhetoric, Mr. Jones. Here’s hoping Brandon comes back and becomes a great pg. I can’t imagine that European competition would be any less intense than the NCAA’s… and at the very very least, you’re right, he’s getting paid.

  • Dre

    Yeah Ryan, did the ego thing and fell way short of admitting that he might have been wrong about the Europe thing. He does great articles but he seemed to be having a hard time eating crow. Obviously a lot of kids will read his article and shy away from going overseas.

  • catalan

    i’m european.

    is not necessary come to euro for improve, and i don’t think for the big teams of europe is a good option pick players of america so youngs, brandon is playing in a middle-level team in Euro.

    money…

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I like Justin and Ryan and I was shuddering when I saw Justin suggesting Ryan look at ballislife “to learn what Renardo is like.” Thankfully, Ryan’s online persona has mellowed of late.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    You’re wrong, Dre. A lot of kids will not read this article.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    …and I try to keep it mellow in my old age, Ben. I’ve got children to set an example for, as you know.

  • miggy

    its tough being away from home. but whatever trouble you go through will be better for you. it humbling and it teaches you a lot of things being independent, responsible and self-reliant. and last time i checked, thats always a good thing. i wish BJ-and all the others that will follow him-the best.

    ps. way to go ryan!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Ryan Jones 4:33 PM: I thought Lil’ Bow Wow was from Columbus?

  • PD

    Kirilenko played in the russian league at age 16,
    Peja played for belgrade at age 15,
    Petrovic played in the yugoslavian league at ag 15,
    toni kukoc played in the yugoslavian league at age 19,
    tony parker played for paris at age 19,
    even thabo sefolosha played in the french league at age 19,
    and the list goes on and on…
    If mr-slam-says-hes-good-so-he-has-to-be-jennings doesn`t play then it`s because he`s not their best man. go to youtube, watch his “highlight” of this season and you will see (pretty fast) why he isn`t playing.
    the only reason for a statement like this is, that he`s afraid of next year`s draft….

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    haha, Ben, I’ve been caught suggesting to the man. I will go away peacefully into the night.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Teddy: I believe you’re thinking of Little Romeo. Or you should be, anyway, since he’s actually on a D1 scholarship… sort of.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    PD: Congratulations on finding YouTube.
    Now, since you obviously missed this the first time, let me help you with some reading comprehension:

    An N.B.A. assistant coach who has been to Europe and has watched Jennings play said his potential draft standing had not been harmed. “I think it is good for him. He was getting a defensive component that he needed. If I was a scout and I needed a point guard, I would be extremely impressed with what he has done over there.”

    So there’s that.
    And there’s the teammate who told Chris Broussard at ESPN Mag that Jennings is better than Rubio.
    And there’s the updated mock drafts that having him going anywhere from 5th (nbadraft.net) to 11th (Sporting News), just to name two.
    So yeah, really, this is solely a case of one idiot at Slam trying to justify his opinion of a player without any factual backing, and yeah, Brandon Jennings should be “afraid” of his draft status, despite the fact that everyone who’s paying attention to a) his play and b) the ’09 draft class says he’s pretty much a lock lottery pick.
    Good job by you!

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Simple question, why is it a big deal that he’s not playing 35 mins a game when basically all the Euro prospects that come to the NBA weren’t getting any burn ?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    That’s a GREAT question, Z.

  • Dre

    Ryan, you got a following my friend and a lot of people read your articles kids included, however if you got to Brandon’s blog he is giving stern warning to other kids. He is giving such a stern warning that other kids got upset thinking he was trying to “hog” the European experience to himself and he had to reiterate that this was not the case that he was just stressing the difficulties and many obstacles he faces. The young high school talents keep up with him and visit his blog on a regular basis. It will have a significant impact on kids thinking about making that jump. His message fell just short of go to school.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I refuse to believe I have a following.
    Beyond that, from the beginning I never doubted (and you can check my previous columns on the subject for proof) that an 18-year-old American making this jump might struggle with many aspects of it. But my beef, which I tried to make pretty clear, is primarily with the coverage, and how mainstream media over here immediately jumped on this bit of “news” in a very we-told-you-so manner, barely mentioning (if they didn’t ignore it completely) the fact Brandon Jennings has almost definitely maintained his Draft status and improved his game overseas. He will enter the ’09 Draft a more well-rounder player and a more mature person, and he will have at least some money in his pocket. But again, if you only watch ESPN, you wouldn’t know that, you’d just think, “Ah, the experiment is a failure, and this greedy kid should’ve gone to college.” Because that’s what they WANT you to think. That bit of misinformation is offensive to me, because it’s intended to maintain an unfair, exploitive system. How many college freshman have reporters following them around asking them about the hardships and disappointments of playing for a coach who promised them a certain role or certain amount of PT during the recruiting process, then forgot their promises as soon as the kid stepped on campus? How many players (like Brandon almost did at U of A) step into a situation where the coach who recruited them doesn’t actually stick around? How many players leave high school academically unprepared for college, only to find themselves at a school that doesn’t care if get an education (check minority athlete grad rates, particularly at the southern schools)?
    And as for Brandon all but telling kids to go to school — how would he know?
    This is my point. And, again, you are my only loyal reader. I hope you come to terms with that soon.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    Ryan, I totally agree with you and will go one step further. Some people in media are irked by the thought of a rebellious, black youngster from Compton (say he went to Oak Hill all you want, but he’s from Compton and originally went to Compton Dominguez HS before going to Oak Hill his junior year to play with current DUKE PG Nolan Smith, Alex Legion, Keith TINY Gallon, Terrence Boyd and others) would DARE bypass college, bypass the rules set in place by the head of the NBA set to make sure that the NCAA gets their headliners for at least a year to help pump money into the sport. Nobody wanted this kid to do well. ESPN, who deems his stuff a failure, has him in the lottery on their own mock draft. All this pissing on a kids statement, cutting it up and making conclusions off of a soundbite is a bit excessive and ridiculous. There is something people in sports and life in general need to understand. NOT EVERYONE IS MEANT TO GO TO COLLEGE. If that was not true, we would not have blue collar jobs or industry, and our economy would be top heavy, which does not work in a capitalist environment. End of rant. Ryan, what do you think?

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    Also, I hate how ESPN and other media outlets paint this kid to be unintelligent, naive and deem his actions akin to some simpleton accidently shooting himself in the foot because he liked his dads gun. Seriously, I’ve met Brandon, and I’ll say it once, I’ll say it a million times- HE IS AN INTELLIGENT, CHARASMATIC GUY.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Justin: We largely agree.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    I thought you might, but had to be sure. Also, Renardo or Lance could go overseas just due to who they have in their corner as well as their opinions on college, but who knows…I just think ESPN has no self respect and suck at covering.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Self-respect tends to get in the way of trying to run the world, I find.

  • Static

    As if I hadn’t already lost all respect for ESPN already, this just cements it…then again, when you’re in bed with the NCAA who are pissed about this sort of thing, you gotta protect your interests. Anyway, great piece on Jennings, and really all I hear the kid saying is “If you’re thinking about making the jump, be ready to deal with the good and the bad and mature from it.” Obviously he’s learning to deal with the real life aspect of playing ball from a business and organization aspect which college players don’t find out until they reach the league. Of course, the media loves negativity and they jump its bones every chance they get, but this story is really showing how even though its not easy Jennings is proving its not only possible for someone to defy the odds but also that they can improve everyday because of the experience and be even more ready for whatever comes next. Hopefully the kids who keep up with his story learn and are able to make a decision based on the truth and not all the BS people that don’t know are trying to feed them

  • Dre

    Static, I would agree I think his comments give a much more realistic account for players to consider.

  • Dre

    Ryan, I defenitely agree with your comments… ESPN wants Brandon to fell and for him to come back with his tail between his legs so they can say, ” I told you so”. I don’t want him to fail and I know the rigors of overseas play… it is no joke. I couldn’t have done it at his age.

    Ryan stop selling yourself short my friend, you write great articles… I personally look forward to them.

  • Dre

    One thing is for sure… I am not faulting the NBA and the NBA is a business. As the owner of my business I can set any requirement I want to hold a position at my business if I think it benefits my company. Like it or not college or some sort of after high school basketball is a benefit for the NBA. It gives them a more finished product for the most part. No one says anything to the NFL and you have to be 3 years removed from high school to play. The NBA also have been toying with the idea of adding another year. I am for everyone doing what is in their own best interest.

  • http://www.ballislife.com Justin Walsh

    Dre, NFL has that rule because nobody is physically ready for the strains of the NFL season. Don’t think it has to do with the same reason the NBA has a requirement. The one and done rule sucks. even a two and done rule would be garbage. You know why? Because there ARE players that are ready for the NBA right out of HS. The rule should be this. If you are ready and want to risk going out of HS to the league, so be it. But if you choose to go the college route, go AT LEAST 3 years (the MLB has this rule). This way the players actually get an education. because as it stands, for a freshman one and done to be eligible the entire season, he needs only to complete SIX HOURS of college credit in the FIRST semester. After that, he doesn’t have to go to class the rest of the year. And lets be honest. Universities all across america have online courses that last 8 weeks that are worth 3 credit hours. so a player could take 2 online courses, be done in november and NEVER go to class the whole year and be technically eligible the whole season. THATS THE PROBLEM. The one and done year is a farce. players dont actually have to do anything. the dont get a real college education

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Yeah, I agree with anybody who believes ESPN is obviously biased, particularly when it comes to black athletes. That point shouldn’t even be up for debate anymore.

  • PD

    dear ryan jones

    i dont care what your “N.B.A. assistant coach who has been to Europe and has watched Jennings play” says. i don`T even care what the draft is gona look like. i`m talkin about jennings becoming the next telfair (ohhh…a guy YOU guys hyped to the max).
    the draft is about hype, ask J.J., ask morrison, ask darko, ask Psycho-T next year…

    so ryan and the “N.B.A. assistant coach who has been to Europe and has watched Jennings play”, have a nice Weekend

  • http://Courtcred.com Coop

    CHECK OUT THE KENNY HALL(ESPNU #59) INTERVIEW ON COURTCRED.COM!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    It’s still Thursday, PD.
    Your choice of “white college stars (and one random Euro) who were vastly overhyped by ESPN” to compare with the two college-skipping black point guards I have vouched for is curious enough, but whatever. If you can find an example anywhere, ever, of me predicting that Bassy would be an NBA All-Star, please let me know. Generally speaking, we “hyped” him as one of the most accomplished players in New York City HS history (which is an accomplishment indeed) and as the most compelling player in his HS class. Did we oversell him by putting him on the cover a couple times? Of course. Do I regret it? Not at all. (Except that Blazers cover, which I’m happy to say wasn’t my idea…)
    Anyway, if you end up being right, and Jennings is an overhyped bust, please remind me in three or four years, by which time you’ll no doubt have taken the job of that unnamed NBA assistant. You clearly know more about basketball than he does.

  • Dre

    Hey Justin, I agree with the majority of what u have stated about how they should do it MLB style. However to be totally honest the majority of HS players aren’t technically ready for the NBA either. You have players like Terrel Pryor who “experts” say could have played out of HS from a physical stand point, but I guarantee u there is always an exception to the rule when. However you have to look at things from a business stand point. If I run the NBA, I have a right to do whatever it takes to protect my interest (The League). People can say what they want but if a players does a couple of years of ball in college or overseas it can only help their game and give the NBA a more finished product. The NBA is a business and any business person with any intelligence is going to whatever it takes to have the best employees possible to run their business. This is common sense… yes there are a few players who are talented enough to play but they far and few in between. Also if they are that talented playing college ball or overseas ball and learning the nuances of the game will go a long way.

  • nastierthanyou

    @Eboy bring some type of harness. No-one wants to see you throw your back out while D**K ridin

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