Brandon Jennings Discusses Stephen Jackson, Upcoming Season for Milwaukee Bucks

Rob SchimkeContributor IIINovember 28, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18:  Brandon Jennings #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Sophomore Team lays the ball up in the first half during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at Staples Center on February 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Brandon Jennings has been one of the few Milwaukee Bucks to stay in the headlines over the summer and the lockout period.  

During that time he was playing basketball anywhere that had a hoop.  He was working as an intern at Under Armour.  He even released his second signature shoe.  

Needless to say, Mr. Jennings has been a busy man.  

In the midst of all chaos, Bleacher Report was able to catch up with Brandon to discuss the upcoming season and what exactly went wrong for the Bucks last year.  

The Milwaukee Bucks were a very busy team on draft day.  Besides drafting Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer, the Bucks made arguably the biggest trade of the day by dealing away two local lightning rods in John Salmons and Corey Maggette.  Many fans and media praised the move along with Brandon Jennings.  

"I think the moves we made before the lockout was great.  Especially getting Stephen Jackson."  

Stephen Jackson does come with baggage, but it is easy to understand why Jennings would be thrilled to see Jackson join the squad.  

Nicknamed "Captain Jack," Stephen Jackson has a reputation of being a vocal leader on any team he has played on.  He is a proven scorer, who has not yet began to slow down at the age of 33.  

"He is a player that has a lot of respect around the league.  Also he is a winner.  He won a championship with the Spurs.  You know, he plays hard every night."

A winning reputation is something the Bucks have not had in decades.  The Bucks seemed to thrive two seasons ago when they had veteran presences with the team in Jerry Stackhouse and Kurt Thomas, both of whom were no longer with the team last season.  

With proven leadership, the mentality of a young team like the Milwaukee Bucks can change.  

"I think he will give us that more, I don't want to say gangster, but tough mentality that we need."  

A tougher mentality is definitely something that was lacking last year.  The Bucks seemed to crumble under the pressure of tight games last year, and much of that can be attributed to mental toughness.  

Many people would also point to a lack of chemistry on the team as being the problem, and Brandon would tend to agree with you.  

"It was chemistry.  It was also the fact that a lot of us were hurt.  We dealt with a lot of injuries."  

The injury bug may have bit the Milwaukee Bucks harder than any other NBA team last season.  Every single Bucks starter at some point was injured last season, with many of them missing significant time.

The health of the Bucks has to be a concern for the team.  

"I have been talking to Bogut throughout the lockout.  We've been keeping in touch.  He's healthy which is a great thing.  As long as he is health, myself, and everyone else, I think we will be good."  

A healthy Andrew Bogut is crucial to the Bucks' success.  The oft-injured Bucks star has been dealing with a lingering arm injury suffered in a brutal fall two seasons ago.  

Brandon Jennings himself dealt with a broken foot that caused him to miss several weeks.  He was even forced to pull out of the Slam Dunk Contest.  Might we see him in it again in the future? 

"I don't know man.  I mean I got my hops back.  I've been dunking all summer, but you know, we'll have to see."  

When the Milwaukee Bucks return to the basketball court around Christmas time, they will be a different team.  They will be healthy and will have hopefully eradicated some of the chemistry issues from last year by both adding and subtracting players from the roster.  

A healthy Milwaukee Bucks team should prove to be a contender in the Central Division.