A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Jennings Is Answering His Critics
You can say this about rookie guard, Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings: He’s for real.
Jennings from the Milwaukee Bucks was honored by the NBA as the Eastern Conference’s Rookie of the Month for the second consecutive month for games played in December.
The rookie sensation started all of the 14 games the Bucks played last month. He’s second among rookies in scoring and tied for 19th overall, averaging 16.7 points per game. Jennings also leads all rookies with 6.5 assists and averages 3.3 rebounds.
In four of the December games, Jennings scored 20 or more points. He led the team in scoring in five of the contests and assists in 12 of the 14 games.
Jennings’ 41 percent from downtown is second among rookies. He’s also second in minutes played with 35. Jennings made 81 percent of his free throws, good for fourth place.
On Dec. 12, Jennings recorded his first career double-double in a double-overtime win at home against Portland.
He scored 18 points and dished out 11 assists.
By all means, Jennings is no angel.
He sometimes acts like any other 20-year-old. The difference between Jennings and another Joe off the street are the extra digits in his bank account.
After the Portland win, “Young Buck” – as it’s tattooed across his upper back – tweeted a message to whoever cared, celebrating their win and getting back to .500.
The Bucks were 11-11 at the time. For that action, Jennings was slapped with a $7,500 fine. That’s pocket change to him.
Since that point, Jennings hasn’t been his good ol’ jolly self. All that losing has been kicking the team in the butt. Milwaukee is now 13-18. They played at New Jersey Tuesday night and Chicago at home Friday.
The wise words sent via Cleveland guard Mo Williams and L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant to the media should encourage Jennings.
To paraphrase Williams, Jennings should be allowed to learn on the job.
Some days, he’ll play good; other days, he’ll make mistakes. Bryant told the media that Jennings should continue to keep working because the hardest work is often done when no one’s around to see it.
It’s too early to tell when or if Jennings will hit the “rookie wall.” The season is only 31 games old. We’ll check back after the Bucks get through their four scheduled back-to-back games out of their 15 in January (6 home, 9 road).
Next week, they’re on a six-game, 10-day Western Conference journey with stops in L.A., Phoenix, Portland, Oakland (Golden State), Salt Lake City (Utah) and Houston.