Posted March 30, 2013

Brandon Jennings not pleased with second-half benching

Brandon Jennings, Jim Boylan, Milwaukee Bucks, Rob Mahoney
Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings was held scoreless for the first time in his career Wednesday. (Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Rob Mahoney

Brandon Jennings rarely seems content as a professional basketball player, or at least as a member of the Bucks. Every few months brings a whisper of Jennings’ dissatisfaction — a veiled quote, a choice rumor, or, in this latest example, a pretty clear disagreement with Bucks interim head coach Jim Boylan. Jennings played a relatively disengaged first half in a loss to the Sixers on Wednesday, which apparently perturbed Boylan so much that he benched his lead guard outright just a few minutes into the second half. Jennings exited the game with 9:37 remaining in the third, and did not return for the evening.

As would be the case with most guards accustomed to playing heavy minutes, Jennings was not thrilled. But moreover, Jennings didn’t appreciate the way in which he was singled out from his teammates, who had hardly played flawless basketball themselves in a 100-92 loss, Milwaukee’s fourth straight overall. Via ESPN.com:

“I don’t see any All-Stars in this locker room,” Jennings said.

Jennings was held scoreless for the first time in 281 career games, missing all three of his shots while playing just 17 minutes against the 76ers. It marked the second rough game in less than a week for Jennings, who scored four points on 1-of-15 shooting in a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

“I think that everyone should be held accountable,” Jennings said. “There’s no maxed-out players in this locker room. So don’t try to put me on a pedestal and just give everyone else the freedom to do whatever they want.”

Jennings said he feels he is being singled out by Boylan.

“Of course,” Jennings told the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel. “This is the third time this has happened. We had a sluggish start but we still had a chance to win it. It was there for us to take.”

Jennings isn’t wrong, though Boylan was fairly forthcoming about the reason for his decision, unpleasant to Jennings as it might have been:

“I just felt like I needed to do something to energize our team,” Boylan said. “When you play that position in this league, there comes with it a lot of responsibility. The talent at that position is outstanding. So you have to bring it every single night. If that’s not happening, you need to do something.”

Boylan can consider his message sent, though the choice to park Jennings on the bench may have cost the Bucks a winnable game and further irked an impending free agent with whom Milwaukee already has a relatively icy relationship. Between Scott Skiles and Boylan (who is functionally Skiles-lite), Jennings has consistently found himself on his coaches’ bad side, which only fuels the belief that the 23-year-old point guard may look to relocate as soon as possible.

Jennings himself has gone out of his way to remind us — and his team — of that possibility, and he may have a chance to pursue that avenue this summer as a restricted free agent. The Bucks would have the right to match any formal offer sheet that Jennings signs, though the option remains for Jennings to play out his fifth NBA season on the qualifying offer — a decision that would delay his eventual payday, but allow him more freedom in the summer of 2014 as an unrestricted free agent.

Whether he winds up in Milwaukee or elsewhere, Jennings is surely due for a lucrative, multi-year deal, particularly if he’s signed via offer sheet. Although restricted free agency helps incumbent teams keep their young players beyond a four-year rookie contract, it also practically demands that other teams overpay in their courtship — thus taxing the incumbents with a bloated deal if they hope to retain said player.

But we’re getting a bit too far ahead of ourselves; there doesn’t seem to be anything altogether toxic in the relationship between Jennings and the Bucks, and Boylan may not even be on Milwaukee’s staff come next season. But each of these little disagreements registers in a cumulative fashion and could set the stage for an eventual Jennings exodus.

6 comments
jsteppling
jsteppling

Sign and trade. The guy has underachieved since day one. NEVER, for any extended period of time, has BJ delivered. Honestly, where does he rank among point guards? Parker, CP3, Rondo, Kyrie, Lillard, Conley, Lawson, Dwade (if thats what he is), Dragic, Lowry, Vasquez, .... then you're down to Kemba, and maybe Jeff Teague....Mo Williams....Brandon Knight.....thats about where Jennings is, Knight level. In other words, not even second tier. But he continues to sulk and act like he's chris paul. Its delusional. Poor bucks....monta ellis thinks he's the equal of D Wade, and Jennings is just a primma donna under achieving cancer.......................start over guys,

Natural-Outlaw
Natural-Outlaw

There have been rumors this entire season Jennings wants outa Milwaukee. It is time to trade him. Doesn't want to be here and Bucks don't need a sulking, blaming person on the team. Reddick can play his position just as well. the problem with Jennings is that he is a streaky shooter. Reddick may not have huge scoring nights yet is consistent. Monta so often has big numbers including assists. He and Reddick can handle the team. What we need is more scoring fro the small forward position.

geoAZ
geoAZ like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Allow me to quote 2 former NBA scouts: GB Shaw " youth is wasted on the young" & Robert Burns, " to see ourselves as others see us " . 

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip like.author.displayName 1 Like

“I don’t see any All-Stars in this locker room,” Jennings said.

 

Nice to see a streaky player who half the time can't hit the broadside of a barn, being honest about his fellow players....AND HIMSELF!! 

Mark4
Mark4 like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @Wisconsin Death Trip Bucks need to dump this arrogant, chucking show pony for a good pick in this draft.  He thinks he's a finished product, but that couldn't be further from the truth.  He had the chance to work hard and become Tony Parker, but it looks like he'll be Devin Harris instead.