Milwaukee Bucks: Brandon Jennings and the mindset he created

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 13: (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 13: (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Brandon Jennings‘ return to the Milwaukee Bucks has brought about a wave of nostalgia, but it’s also a reminder of the culture and mindset he created.

It all started with a 19-year-old from Compton walking onto the stage four picks after he had been drafted. Nearly a decade later, Brandon Jennings is a bit older and he’s played for a handful of different teams, but now he’s back with the Milwaukee Bucks where it all started.

In returning now, Jennings has come back to a culture and a mindset that in many ways he created among the fanbase.

Jennings was often overshadowed by fellow guards from his draft class. Tyreke Evans, went on to win Rookie of the Year, and in the time since, Stephen Curry has, of course, gone on to achieve otherworldly success, including two MVPs and two NBA championships.

More from Bucks News

The Oak Hill graduate, a score-first point guard who had just finished his sole season playing in Italy, was welcomed into the NBA by a team that included the likes of Luke Ridnour, Michael Redd, Charlie Villanueva, and Andrew Bogut.

Jennings started every single game in his rookie year, posting 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.3 steals. It’s impossible, though, to talk about Jennings’ rookie season without bringing up the 55-point performance that came in just his seventh NBA game against the same Warriors that drafted Curry.

Jennings shot 21-of-34 from the field and 7-of-8 from deep on that famous night in Bucks history. He weaved, ducked, and pulled up on his way to one of the best scoring performances the franchise has seen, particularly in its recent history. That outburst stands tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and behind only Michael Redd in terms of the highest scoring games in Bucks history.

Of course, Jennings’ legacy with the Bucks was fueled by that historic night and a generally promise-filled rookie season, but his more lasting impact comes from his confidence and its role in creating a movement and feeling among the team’s long-suffering fanbase.

"“So we just gon’ go out there and play basketball, and win.”“In how many games?”“Six… We gon’ win in six.”"

That infamous quote from Jennings prior to the Bucks’ first round playoff meeting with the defending champion Miami Heat in 2013 received a wide range of reactions. Some — okay, most — called him crazy. Dwyane Wade even provided a memorable reaction of his own to Jennings’ audacious statement:

The Bucks, of course, would go on to get swept by the LeBron James-led Heat, but that isn’t what this is about or why people still talk about that moment and that quote five years later. Even though the prediction never came to fruition, it grew its own legs and became a culture of its own. T-shirts were made, tweets were sent, and even a certain podcast I know of found its name in the iconic quote.

During Jennings’ recent time in the G League with the Bucks’ affiliate the Wisconsin Herd, Behind the Buck Pass’ own Ti Windisch asked Jennings about the origin of the quote and how it’s become such a popular refrain for Bucks fans ever since.

Bucks in 6 is now more than a bold prediction, it’s a belief system of sorts. It’s carried the fanbase through a lengthy period when winning a playoff series has seemed unimaginable, and now it brings the team right up to a point where it seems a series win is as close as it’s been for quite some time.

Next: Milwaukee Bucks: An ongoing case of missing identity

Whether it’s ultimately in four, five, six or seven games won’t really matter when that day ultimately arrives for the Bucks, but Brandon Jennings’ role in helping to create a confident mindset that helped to carry fans through those barren years shouldn’t be overlooked.