How You Can Learn From Brandon Jennings’ Stupidity

By Joe Haefner

Here is a quote from Brandon Jennings, point guard for the Detroit Pistons, when explaining why they aren’t shooting the ball well.

“If you ask the question about why we’re not making shots, we don’t shoot. We don’t shoot in practice. We haven’t really had a chance to work on our games or anything. When we do have shootarounds, we’re not able to get up shots like we should. I just think if you’re going to have shootaround in the morning, I think it’s good that you get loose and you should work on shots that you’re going to take in the game. Even before, after practice, we’ve got to start getting in the gym, just working on our game more.”

Now, I don’t know Brandon Jennings. He could have a great character and just had a bad moment…

But there are so many things wrong with this approach…

He’s being a victim… he’s not taking ownership. He’s passing blame to the coaches on why he’s not making shots… why he’s not getting more practice shots.

Are you telling me… at any level… but especially the professional level, that you can’t arrange time to get more shots up?

There is a reason that you don’t hear players like Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Kobe Bryant say things like this.

Being a victim will ruin your sports career. And worst off, it will ruin your life.


How You Should Approach This Situation

A leader… a person who is going to be successful in life would have approached this situation with a problem-solving mentality. You own the situation. You are proactive.

You’re given a situation… maybe a situation that isn’t ideal… maybe it is. But you make the best of that situation.

You don’t sit there and gripe about it. That’s wasting time and energy that you could be putting towards making yourself and the situation better.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.


Okay… I’m not shooting as well as I should be and my team is not shooting as well as we should be… why is this happening and what I can do to help with this situation?

  • Study game film and see if you’re taking good shots. If you have time, see if your teammates are taking good shots. Is your team sharing the ball like they should be? Are you making the extra pass to get an even better shot?
  • You could ask the coaching staff if they’d be willing to spend some extra time before or after practice on shooting drills.

    If they can’t get extra time, see if you can get in the facility outside of practice… early in the morning or later in the evening.

    If you can’t, arrange a time that you and your teammates can go to another gym. Ask other schools in the school district. Ask the Athletic Director. Shoot outside. (I don’t care if it’s cold out.)

  • Ask the coaching staff what drills you should practice on your own. If the coaching staff doesn’t know, study your film and see where you get your shots.

    Replicate these situations and turn them into drills. Practice these situations without defense and with defense. And do it a lot!

  • Ask the coaching staff what drills other players could do on their own. If not, take it upon yourself to help.
  • Ask your teammates to spend extra time shooting with you in the gym.

If you want to be successful, you have to make it happen.




  1. Charles — December 28, 2014 @ 1:25 am

    I must say that if Jennings is telling the truth then he has a valid point. But I don’t believe that you can play in the NBA and not get enough practice shots. Thats just not believable

  2. Brian Sass — January 9, 2015 @ 6:07 pm

    Can’t believe that they can’t get shots up in shootaround. Then what do they do? He says they don’t do these things in shoot around. Then what do they do? How much time do they have? When do they have facilities available. At the pro level, this shouldn’t even be a question. I agree completely with Joe. This seems to be excuse making of the highest order. They get the time. Their productivity is what they make of it.

  3. Garrett Murphy — January 9, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

    I wonder if he’s trying to egg on his own teammates? Clearly he can handle his own shootaround activities and what he does in his free time…I’m thinking he’s referencing what his teammates are doing instead (notice the constant use of “we”, not “I”). If that’s the case, that locker room must suck right now.

  4. Boge — January 12, 2015 @ 4:04 pm

    Being a professional means you have a full time job. Making time for individual skills is your responsibility. Dr. J once said that great teams are made by how much each player practices on his own. Get off X-Box and in a gym.

  5. Dwayne Murray — January 13, 2015 @ 7:01 am

    I think he was referring to a particular part or time frame of his season. Not everyday. What he said, in and of itself, isn’t wrong. But discretion is the better part of valor. Especially when dealing with the media.

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