Over the lockout, there have been a lot of very good stories about what NBA players are doing to keep busy while they wait for news on when the season is going to start. Here’s the latest one of those stories, a lengthy and interesting profile of LA native Brandon Jennings’ Summer basketball regimen by SI’s Lee Jenkins. Jennings has been playing basketball wherever and whenever he can this summer, and is regaining some of his street-ball legend status in the process:
Jennings has become the union’s underground ambassador, appearing in more pickup games than Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. “Where they hooping?” he tweets in the morning, with a hashtag for his location. He considers all offers, and if he chooses one, he tweets the address in case anybody wants to stop by…
…The score was kept on a hand-operated flip board. Kids shot at the open basket when action shifted to the opposite end. Players kicked the ball when they got mad and peeled off their shirts when they got hot. AIS won the first two games easily, with Jennings at three-quarters speed, but was tied at 10 in game three. “F—!” Jennings yelled, before heaving a full-court pass for a layup, drilling a 35-foot step-back jumper, then pulling up for a 40-foot clincher. “Next,” he said. After one more game, not as close, he hopped back on his low rider and pedaled into the darkness, past the softball players warming up for their beer league, all the way to his aunt Marsha’s house for dinner.
Jennings had a rough sophomore season. His three-point percentage went way down last season, he had fewer assists per game than he did his rookie year, and he didn’t improve his sub-par scoring efficiency very much while being the point guard for the NBA’ s worst offensive team. Maybe a summer full of 40-foot bombs, playground scoring explosions, and off-the-head passes will boost Jennings’ confidence going into next season, and help him become a true NBA lead guard after suffering a bit of a set-back last season.