In a recent interview, new Knicks guard Brandon Jennings said he was unsure where he would end up prior to signing in New York.
“I really had no idea,” Jennings told Complex Sports. “Nobody really wanted to give me a chance because of my Achilles injury. Teams were saying they didn’t know where I was at and how I looked. So I feel like this year is a year where I’m just betting on myself.”
Jennings and the New York Knicks agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract in July. The 27-year-old Compton guard averaged seven points per game coming off the bench for Orlando after Detroit dealt him mid-season.
Then, Knicks president Phil Jackson called him, and a deal was struck.
“It was definitely something on the radar. But it was definitely a surprise,” Jennings said of winding up with New York. “I had gotten a call from Phil Jackson and right after that, it was go time. It definitely turned the whole summer around.
“(Jackson) told me I can help the team out a lot coming off the bench, being a sixth man. Who definitely wouldn’t want that role to be in New York City, playing with guys like Carmelo Anthony, D-Rose, Joakim Noah, (Kristaps) Porzingis? I couldn’t pass on that opportunity.”
New York also hired ex-Suns coach Jeff Hornacek to run the team this season. Jennings said he looks forward to running alongside Rose in Hornacek’s offense, which could feature a two-point guard back court as he used in Phoenix.
“It’s definitely really something I can’t wait to do. We’re both playmakers, so to be out there on the court together would be great,” Jennings said. “I definitely know a lot about Jeff Hornacek; playing with the Utah Jazz, they used to do two guards front with him and John Stockton. And he did the same thing in Phoenix. I’m sure we’ll definitely see a lot of that this year.”
Another integral piece to New York’s success this season is Kristaps Porzingis, who placed second to Karl-Anthony Towns in the Rookie of the Year running last season. More than his play, Jennings said Porzingis’ style impressed him most.
“The first time I met him… the kid got a lot of swag. That was one of the things that kind of surprised me,” he said. “He has so much talent and potential. He’s a guy that nobody is really talking about in this whole situation. Which is a good thing because we know how good he really is. I think he’s really going to surprise people coming back for his second year.”
Jennings was irate when he first found out his rating in NBA 2K17 was a 75.
Waitttttttt a min!!!!! Jared ur my guy and all. But listen no way I'm 75 and u 76! ??? no way https://t.co/lQ0gH5EUXd
— Brandon Jennings (@brandonjennings) August 27, 2016
But when asked what he would rate rapper Drake, he didn’t hold back any punches.
“Drake can shoot. Drake got a jumper. Drake is a cool spot-up shooter. He can knock the jumper down in the clutch if he’s open. But everything else, no.
“Drake could never beat me. I tell him that all the time.”