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Brandon Jennings lashes out after fourth-quarter benching

Mar 28, 2013, 10:23 AM EDT

Jom Boylan, Brandon Jennings.

Brandon Jennings was 0-for-3 with no free-throw attempts and no rebounds through three quarters against the 76ers last night. That was also his final line, because Jim Boylan benched the Bucks point guard for the fourth quarter.

Jennings didn’t take kindly to the move. Associated Press:

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

“I think that everyone should be held accountable,” he 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.”

If Jennings, who will become a restricted free agent this summer, wants to receive a max contract (or anything near it), he better start acting like a max player right now. Being a max player, as Jennings hints, comes with higher expectations. Teams will be rightfully skeptical of giving big money to Jennings, who just announced he doesn’t want to be held to a higher standard. If he’s not going all out in a contract year, why would that change once he gets a guaranteed large contract?

But I’m also sympathetic to Jennings’ situation.

The Bucks embarrassed him. He’s embarrassing them.

That’s not the mature, measured response I’m sure Boylan was seeking, but it’s an understandable response. It’s probably no coincidence Jennings is better than most NBA players, including most of his teammates. Typically, better players are better because they work harder. Jennings has probably out-worked his peers to raise his baseline level, and now he’s being punished for not meeting the standard he created by working hard in the first place.

Still, Jennings fell well below any reasonable standard last night. But he also limited his impact. He took just three shots and had no turnovers. Some players force the issue to protect their per-game averages, but Jennings just allowed teammates who were having better games to take over.

It’s not the 0-for-3, no-turnover nights that kill you. It’s the 3-for-14, six-turnover nights that kill you. Jennings played like he understood the difference.

Is that the mark of an All-Star or a max player? Well, Jennings answered that himself when he sat in the locker room and said there were no All-Stars or max players in the locker room.

But that is the type of performance that probably should have earned Jennings a couple fourth quarter minutes to try to get back on track and, at minimum, save the shaming of a benching.

  1. bougin89 - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Sigh…

    Time for the Bucks to move on from Jennings. He is not the type of player you can lock yourself into for the type of money he wants. I hope some team like the Hawks or Mavs offer him a max deal this summer and the Bucks let him walk.

    • truehooper1421 - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Jennings clearly wants to be in a bigger market or he will pick and choose when he plays hard.

  2. nycalldayz - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    “I don’t see any All-Stars in this locker room,” he said. Now that’s sad.

  3. truehooper1421 - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    The fact that his stat line was nonexistent is grounds for him to be benched in the 4th. It’s sad when a player has to talk about money when it comes to actually playing. Because he isn;t a maxed out contract player, he can’t be held accountable because he is one of the teams top players. He should hold HIMSELF to a higher standard even though he is on a rookie contract. That shows he has no leadership qualities.

  4. scott46 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Scott Skiles and the entire staff should have been fired. This organization incompetence ranks up there at the top. They were losing and suck way before Jennings came to Milwaukee. Brandon is the reason why they are in the playoffs in the first place. Jennings is right, all good teams have all stars…

    • bougin89 - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Brandon Jennings is not THE reason the Bucks are in the playoff hunt. He is part of the reason but if you’re saying Jennings carried us this season you are absolutely off the mark.

    • 00maltliquor - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Scott Skiles isn’t even a part of the Bucks anymore, what’s he got to do with it??

  5. stayhigh_247 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    No smart GM with a good organization is going to waste air, time, or energy trying to get this dude. There is a buzzillion guards out there for less money and less attitude that can give you similar numbers. The Bucks better learn how to draft and try to find a Damian Lilard. Jennings is a diva….which is so lame.

  6. borderline1988 - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    “Typically, better players are better because they work harder. Jennings has probably out-worked his peers to raise his baseline level, and now he’s being punished for not meeting the standard he created by working hard in the first place.”

    Not that I necessarily disagree with your underlying point, but typically better players are better because they’re more talented, not because they work harder.

  7. urodaddy07 - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    I think you are totally wrong here. You definitely have to be talented, but if you look at some of the present and past players you realize talent gets you only so far and there are tons of talented players. Compare Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter to Kobe Bryant. I think both those players were physically more gifted and naturally talented, but who will have a better legacy? If you look at a guy like JR Smith; very few players in my mind possess that type of talent, yet he is only now, after 8 years in the league, beginning to play at something approaching his potential. The league is scattered with super talented guys who never quite play at a high level. I think that comes down to how hard they work at it

  8. 00maltliquor - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Compton in the house!

    lol, nah I like Jennings a lot but he needs to shake that bad attitude. I wonder how much he’s really gonna make in the open market. Gonna be one of the more interesting player signings next season. He most certainly will get overpaid by someone. Just HOW much makes me curious and by whom? Ain’t no way he’s going back to MIL. This guys a bright lights kinda dude.

    • bougin89 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      Well he will have to go back to Milwaukee if the Bucks match, it’s not up to Jennings. I’m just praying they don’t match.

  9. roanboon - Mar 29, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    League revenue suffers when teams like Milwaukee do well. Maybe the next comissioner will think of a creative way to change that.

    • kavika6 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:13 AM

      I agree. It’s easy to see why Stern hates the Spurs so much. They must have cost him and his thugs tens of millions of dollars.

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