Since his selection by the team #10 overall in Thursday night’s draft, there’s been a lot of “Hatorade” spilled on Brandon Jennings by Bucks’ fans. Yes, on the surface he appears nothing more than a 19-year old punk who’s has an ego already comparable to Terrell Owens with not much proof to back it up. Yes, he only averaged 5.5 points and 2.2 assists last year playing in Italy for Lottomatica Roma. Yes, he has no frame to flaunt about at a mere 6’1, 170 pounds. And yes, he acted like a bit of a goof in New York making his entrance on stage in the middle of the 14th selection. But at this point, the Bucks’ organization needs to be resuscitated; needs a jolt of swagger. After all, it’s been awhile. They haven’t seen a character close to Jennings’ since the “Big Dog” Glenn Robinson’s arrival in 1994, when he held out into the beginning of training camp looking for the richest rookie contract in NBA history. And despite the fact Jennings does exude a flash of arrogance, he’s arguably one of the only kids from a relatively weak overall class with superstar potential. Jennings has already made his mark as a trailblazer choosing to play professionally overseas straight out of high-school, an unprecedented feat. And through the interview processes leading up to the draft, Jennings “hot shot” attitude has seemed to drastically cool off. Not only has he voiced his grown maturity level and sense of independence, but he’s learned to place an emphasis on team basketball while playing with grown men. In comparison to his peers, his experience has no doubt given him a leg up on the NBA learning curve, and perhaps most importantly, sparked by all of his doubters, he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder.
For those still up in arms, consider this: GM John Hammond just decided to deal Richard Jefferson to the Spurs, which contrary to his comments, was effectively a salary dump. The Bucks are now left with no bonafide superstar, with the oft-injured Michael Redd as their only proven commodity. No matter which way you slice it, the team is still stuck in as deep of a rut as they were after Ray Allen was traded. So does the fact they’re rolling the dice on this classic boom or bust really affect their playoff status for 2010? Probably not. No matter who the team could’ve selected, they’re likely bound for another lottery appearance next year. At the very least, the new breed of athleticism added to the roster in Jennings, second-round pick Jodie Meeks and high-flying Amir Johnson will put butts in the seats. There’s sure to be no shortage of excitement in the BC. And at this point in the rebuilding process, that’s all management and fans should reasonably expect.