HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — For a player whose name alone stirred as much debate as it did four years ago, it’s stunning how silent folks are now that Brandon Jennings is seemingly all grown up (or at least well on his way).
All of the critics who questioned his motives and at-the-time controversial decision to skip college for a year, instead pursuing his professional hoop dream in Italy, have disappeared. It’s been a steady climb for Jennings, who has done nothing but improve his game year after year, from a rough start in Italy to being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 10th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft the next year, to now.
Has he grown enough on and off the court for the Bucks to cement his future in Milwaukee with a contract extension before the Oct. 31 deadline? That remains to be seen.
But with days left before a decision has to be made, Jennings would become a restricted free agent at the end of this season if there is no extension, the topic is on the minds of some. Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times raised the question to Jennings, who has more pressing matters on his mind these days, namely making sure he and backcourtmate Monta Ellis return the Bucks to the playoffs:
Jennings has repeatedly said he’s content in Milwaukee and would welcome being with the Bucks for the long haul. Signing an extension would virtually assure that.
But Jennings said he isn’t the least bit worried if an extension can’t be worked out.
Asked if his contract situation was weighing on his mind, Jennings said, “No, because at the end of the day, everything will work out. All I can do is go between the lines and play basketball every day.’’