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Brandon Jennings

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  • Post last modified:1 May 2024

Nickname: The Pterodactyl


This comes from popular demand, as a good buddy of mine suggested this one and allowed me to reminisce about the Milwaukee Bucks tenth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Brandon Jennings. While we used to watch this dude’s highlights together (among other random, forgotten athletes), he had completely slipped my mind. Now sure, he may not be completely forgotten and could be in that category of “Popular Obscure Athlete” (I think that’s an oxymoron. If my high school English teacher ever reads this she would be ecstatic right now). But nonetheless, I don’t hear his 55 point point explosion in just his seventh career NBA game get talked about a lot. Or what about his 20 point-20 assist game when he was on the Detroit Pistons? Or the fact that he was the first American player in history to skip college and go overseas for a year before he got drafted into the NBA. So yeah, I think he is fairly obscure and to be honest it could be because his nickname, The Pterodactyl, is not really that great. Jennings himself has said that he doesn’t like it and referenced himself as “Young Money” which is tattooed on him, but with all due respect, his career didn’t really flow as a “Young Money” kind of player. So he’s stuck being called a dinosaur that is fairly lame and a pain to spell (someone spellcheck it for me, thanks).

Why He Should Be Remembered

Jennings honestly had a good start to his career. He had that 55 point night against the Golden State Warriors, and finished third in Rookie of the Year voting behind Tyreke Evans and Steph Curry. By his third year, he had already hit his career high for most points averaged in a season at 19.1. But unfortunately, this was part of the problem for his career as he almost peaked too early. Couple that with the fact that he didn’t really improve in a lot of areas in his game and you got a quick-trigger guard that can give you an offensive explosion on a random night, but that’s really it. I do say quick-trigger in a good-natured term as he has a great looking, high arching jumper that looks so sweet in his highlights. Not to mention that his shot creation showed off his quickness and shiftiness and his scoop layup was underrated as it was ridiculous at times. He just feels like a dude that could go toe to toe with anyone in a King of the Court tournament. I mean take a look for yourself:


Keep in mind that this is his 7TH NBA GAME EVER.

Also a little side note here: he has the same passing style as Rajon Rondo. No, he is not as good of a passer as Rondo, not even close, nor does he have as high of an IQ as him, but his ball fakes mixed with his craftiness in finding angles in passing lanes just reminds me of Rondo. Jennings was definitely a score-first guard and this may be absolutely crazy, but whatever I’m saying it. Someone once told me that you can’t get upset with someone based on how they feel and I didn’t really know what that meant until now.

Why He Is Not Remembered

Besides his career peaking too early and his lack of overall improvement, Jennings is also not remembered because of his career altering injury. In the 2014-15 season, Jennings would rupture his Achilles tendon in a season where he was playing fairly well for the Detroit Pistons in what would be only 41 games for him that year. This injury proved to be a killer as he would then never average more than eight points a game for the rest of his NBA career. He tried reviving it multiple times, going overseas and signing ten day contracts, but it just was not in the cards for someone who was once thought of as the next big thing. It’s honestly sad and he could be put into the club with other “untapped potential” NBA players (I’m calling it the “Untapped Club” and I think that could stick. That’s cool, right?). At the end of the day, Jennings was a player that looked at points to be on the rise to stardom, but then came crashing down from whatever momentum he had by the lack of improvement (and any real accomplishments) and injuries. He ended his career as a below average role player (with still a damn good looking jumper).

Where He Is Now

It’s not a completely sad ending for Jennings however. He currently has his own clothing line, Tuff Crowd, and makes occasional appearances on basketball podcasts. He seems like he’s generally a good guy and enjoys speaking about the game and where it is at today. For a guy that was once compared to Allen Iverson, he seems to be taking the abrupt downfall to his career quite well and I have to give him props for that.

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