In an NBA draft filled with enigmatic point guards, Brandon Jennings might top the list. In terms of enigmaticness, at least. Fresh off a season of professional basketball (and professional benchwarming) in Italy, the youngster worked out opposite Jonny Flynn in Oakland on Thursday.
FanHouse's Matt Steinmetz was in attendance for Jennings' press availability. The transcript follows. -- Tom Ziller
Q: How did it go?
Jennings: It went pretty well. It was my first time really playing against an opponent in three weeks because I was in Europe. It felt good, trying to get my wind back up.
Q: So, it was you and Jonny Flynn going at each other?
Jennings: Right at each other, three-on-three, full-court, so it was fun, just to play against somebody.
Q: How competitive did it get?
Jennings: Real competitive. I know he wants my job bad and I want his job. So, it was real good. He's a great player, goes hard every time. That's what I love.
Q: What did coach Don Nelson and general manager Larry Riley say to you?
Jennings: Thanking me for coming by, and, you know, see you soon. Hopefully.
Q: Do you think the Warriors like you?
Jennings: I don't know. I think so. A little bit.
Q: How involved was Don Nelson?
Jennings: The assistant coaches were putting us through the workouts. Don Nelson was just watching the whole time.
Q: Did you meet with any of the coaches or staff?
Jennings: I talked to the GM. He came to Italy for a week so I got to know him pretty well ... Larry Riley.
Q: Do you think you're ready to run a team right away or will it take a while?
Jennings: No, I don't think it will take any time. I've got a year under my belt playing professional basketball so I know what a team needs and I know situations.
Q: What did you want to prove out there?
Jennings: "That I can run a team, that I'm a pure point guard. Everybody thinks I'm a shoot-first point guard but I'm really a pure point guard, a pass-first point guard.
Q: Could you play alongside Monta Ellis, another smallish guard?
Jennings: Heck yeah, he fits my game. He runs, and I run. Put us two together you might have greatness.
Q: What about defensively?
Jennings: It would be kind of scary for the opponent because we'll get after it. Then you have to try to guard both of us coming back down. It would be kind of scary.
Q: Did you guard bigger guys in Italy?
Jennings: In practice, all the time. The wings, the three men are about 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6, so those were the kinds of players I guarded sometimes.
Q: How was that?
Jennings: Challenging. It was a challenge but I thought I held my own.
Q: How much did you learn in Europe?
Jennings: I had to mature real fast because I was with grown men everyday. I had to take care of responsibilities. It was a challenge at first, had its ups and downs, but I did what I had to do.
Q: Was it the right decision?
Jennings: Most definitely. The experience was great, on and off the court. I learned a lot about life. We don't know how good we have it until we get out of our comfort zone and go to another place. I wouldn't change it for anything.
Q: What specifically made it a good call?
Jennings: I gained a lot there, just playing with grown men everyday. Having to fight for my job. It's a job now, so everybody wants to eat. I think it was the right decision.
Q: Are you a better player now than a year ago?
Jennings: Yes, I am. I'm more mature. I think more than the other guys because of the year I had in Europe, just not even playing. Going through that, tough times up and down, the challenges that I faced, so I think I have the upper hand against some of these guys.
Q: What challenges?
Jennings: Just not playing. Waiting my turn. I know it's a business now so I've got that in my head. If the same thing were to happen this year, it wouldn't faze me at all because I've been through it. So just keep working and grinding.
Q: Did the Warriors give you the impression they were looking for a point guard? Because that's one of the issues surrounding Monta Ellis, whether he's going to play there or not.
Jennings: That's what I've been hearing through the media -- that they're looking for a pure point guard, someone to run the team. I'm that guy, hopefully.
Q: Did you do any shooting drills? How did you shoot it?
Jennings: I didn't shoot it pretty well. I was a little tired so the fatigue got to me a little bit.
Q: How is your shooting overall?
Jennings: It's OK, but it could be better. I'm not a great shooter, but I can score.
Q: Have you talked to your cousin, Marcus Williams, about the Warriors or about Don Nelson or about his experience here?
Jennings: No I didn't really talk to him about the situation. I didn't really want to get into it with him. But I know he had a tough time here. I really don't know the situation. I have to take care of my business.
Q: What makes the Warriors such a good fit for you?
Jennings: They get up and down. They play my style of basketball. They just run, run, run, run. That's what I like to do: run
Q: Do you watch the Warriors at all?
Jennings: Actually, I did follow them a lot. Marcus Williams was on the team so I had to order the league pass on my laptop. So I was up till three or four in the morning watching these games. I got to catch them a little bit and see their style of play.
Q: What makes you different than the guards they have in Golden State?
Jennings: Just a pass-first point guard. I'm the point guard that likes to get everyone involved so playing with those guys I'm going to get them five, six, seven shots a game because I love to pass the ball.
Q: Guarding the pick-and-roll, would you say that's your strong suit?
Jennings: I just learned how to play the pick-and-roll last year on the pro level. So, I have the pick-and-roll down pat. I know how to read situations, know how to go off the pick, know how to split the double.