Brandon Jennings – No European “Vacation”

brandon_jennings

If you’ve seen any of the National Lampoon’s  vacation movies then you’re probably familiar with the hilarious disasters of the Griswold family where things start off great and then go downhill in a hurry. Such is the plight of Brandon Jennings who became the first HS player to skip college and play professional basketball in Europe. What happens to the Griswold’s is fictional and comedic; what’s happening to Brandon is real and not at all funny.

Brandon Jennings described in an email what his experience has been like since signing a 3yr ($1.2 million per) contract to play in Italy with Lottomatica Virtus Roma last summer. He has a tattoo on his back that says “Young Money” and he also has those same words stitched into his signature Under Armour shoe. So it’s very ironic when he says that since he’s been in Italy he’s only been paid on time once! I guess he should call himself  “Late Money” instead. He also complained that he’s been treated like a kid and not as a man and that some nights he plays heavy minutes and then others he doesn’t play at all. All of this has been described as a warning to other HS players here in the states to not make the same decision that he made.

You guys know me and you know that I’m very opinionated and very vocal about certain things…and this time will be no different. All I have to say to Brandon is dude…STOP COMPLAINING! Nobody held a gun to to your head in that Las Vegas hotel room when you signed that contract last summer. If you didn’t qualify academically to play at Arizona then you could’ve gone the prep school route instead of letting them sell you on going to Europe and being this trailblazing, trendsetter that kids after you would be sure to follow. I’m sure it all sounded good at the time, but how much research did you do? How many guys did you talk to that actually played overseas? How many of the horror stories did you hear about the practices, or the substandard living conditions, or the late salary payments or better still, the ones about some guys not getting paid at all? You either didn’t talk to anybody at all and if you did, you probably felt like you were better than them anyway and what happened to them wouldn’t happen to you. Rude awakening huh?

I read an article on espnthemagazine.com and there is a video of him showing off all of the Gucci and Louis Vuitton stuff that he bought since he’s been there. At one point in the video the interviewer asked him about his decision to play overseas instead of going to UA — this was right after the whole Lute Olson thing broke — and I believe his exact words were : Do I look like the dumb one now for not going to Arizona?”

Well based on all the Gucci gear you bought no, you don’t look like the dumb one for not going to Arizona. But after what you said in your email, it sounds to me like you wish you would have.

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