Brandon Jennings downplayed his earlier comments that Ricky Rubio is all hype. (azcentral.com)
By Ryan Feldman
Monday, June 15, 2009
GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Whether or not Ricky Rubio really is all hype or the real deal is yet to be seen. But Jennings let the world know on Friday in Sacramento that he believes Rubio, or as Jennings called him "the dude," is "all hype."
But at Monday's draft workout with the Knicks, Jennings slowed down with his now-famous comments after taking the weekend to digest the controversy that he caused.
"I think I got a little carried away with it," said Jennings. "I was having too much fun with it. He's not all hype. The kid has more experience than everyone else in this Draft. He's been playing (professionally) since he was 14. He's a great player. He did his thing in the Olympics. Overall, he’s a great person. No disrespect to Ricky Rubio."
For weeks and months, Rubio has been the consensus top point guard in the 2009 NBA Draft, which is extremely point guard-heavy. But Jennings was sick of the hype and wanted to remind everyone of his lone matchup with Rubio this season. In that game, Rubio had zero points, three assists and three turnovers, while Jennings had 12 points and two assists.
All we know right now is that NBA executives, scouts and experts agree that Rubio is the top point guard prospect in this Draft. Of course, there are some who disagree, but that is the consensus. Who really is the best point guard and who will go on to have the best NBA career is yet to be seen, but Jennings certainly believes that he is the best.
"Of course, I think I'm the best point guard in the Draft," said Jennings. "I would hope he would say the same thing. Since I can't be the No. 1 pick in the Draft, I at least want to be the No. 1 guard or the No. 1 point guard in the Draft. I think it's just a little frustrating, but it's alright."
It would be hard to see Rubio fall past the Kings at No. 4 and it is unlikely that Jennings would go higher than the Kings at No. 4, so it's highly unlikely that Jennings will be drafted before Rubio.
Jennings just started his draft workouts last week, having now worked out for the Warriors (No. 7), Kings (No. 4) and Knicks (No. 8). He said that he is only working out for teams in the No. 4 to No. 8 range, so he still has the Wizards (No. 5) and Timberwolves (No. 6) to go.
"The only teams I'm working out for are four through eight," said Jennings. "Those are the only teams right now that I know that need point guards."
While that statement is accurate, there are plenty of other teams drafting after No. 8 that need a point guard, including the Bucks (No. 10), Sixers (No. 17) and Hawks (No. 19).
With Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, Rubio, James Harden, Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Jordan Hill and Jrue Holiday all very much in the mix for the top eight, a couple of those players are going to have to slide. There's no reason that Jennings couldn't be that player.
Does Jennings think there's any chance he could drop past the Knicks at No. 8?
"I really don't know," he said. "We'll see. We'll see when the Draft comes."
Jennings will work out for the Wizards on Tuesday with Flynn, Curry and A.J. Price. All of his workouts have been extremely competitive so far. He worked out with Evans, Earl Clark and Austin Daye at Monday's Knicks workout. In Sacramento, Jennings worked out against Holiday and Flynn. The Warriors workout also included Flynn.
Rubio, on the other hand, will apparently not be working out for any teams. He reportedly is scheduled to arrive Monday night on his flight to the United States and will only be meeting and interviewing with the Clippers, Thunder and Kings. Memphis is still out of play for Rubio, so it will likely come down to whether or not the Thunder want to team up Rubio and Russell Westbrook in their backcourt.