Call it ‘Death by a Thousand Tweets’.
It started yesterday with a live-tweet from Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times as he covered the Bucks’ season-ending press conference with the owner, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, and the general manager, John Hammond. The press conference (and most of its resulting media coverage) focused on the future of the Bucks in Milwaukee and the construction and financing of a new arena, but there were also some questions on the direction of the team. Then Woelfel tweeted a key Hammond response.
Woefel’s tweet led to a story on CBSSports.com by Matt Moore (in which he incorrectly attributed the story to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) based around the soundbite from Hammond. Another tweeter brought the quote to Jennings’ attention, and Brandon quickly responded.
Paul Imig of Fox Sports Wisconsin replied to Jennings that Brandon should find and listen to the entirety of the statement made by Hammond. And then, on the same night, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News spoke to Bill Duffy, the agent for Jennings, who said that was ‘surprised’ by what Hammond said.
In any case, here is the full quote by Hammond on a possible Jennings extension.
It’s something that we’ll look at, and we’ll explore, and it’s going to have to be kind of a little bit of a two-way street so to speak — something that is important to them and important to us and I think that is. But, you know, it’s not something that we have to do, and the one thing we don’t want to do — and we’ve talked about this the last couple of years — is not put ourselves in a position where we have to do things…if we do things where I think we’re negotiating and working out of a position of weakness. So we don’t have to do anything right now in regard to our roster. We want to be smart, we want to be wise and we want to continue to put ourselves in position where when we look at our roster, we can say that players on our roster are good players, players that we want to have here, and players that we consider to be assets and that other teams around the NBA consider to be assets. And contracts are part of that.
To hear the question and response, see the clip below (forward to the 32:00 mark for the semi-audible question, 32:28 mark for the response):
So, in reality, what we have is Hammond being forthrightly honest about his strategy for the direction of the team. He likes Jennings, but doesn’t want to burden the franchise with an unseemly contract.
Hammond would have ruffled fewer feathers with a comment about how much he wanted Brandon back — and he clearly doesn’t gush over Jennings other that to say, “It’s important to us.” But Hammond is also making preparations to do battle with Duffy, and he already has his poker face on, even at an end-of-season press conference.
Let the tango begin.