Curious what Brandon Jennings is up to this offseason?
“Me and 10 of my friends were up until 5 a.m. last night playing ‘Call of Duty,’” Jennings admits with a laugh when I get him on the phone to talk video games.
The 22-year-old guard for the Milwaukee Bucks recently tweeted a picture of his customized “Modern Warfare 3” Xbox 360 with the caption “Always Got it w/Me,” and the kid nicknamed “Young Buck” isn’t shy about his love for virtual shootouts.
“I’m not a guy who is going to get shot a lot,” he says. “I’m more of a guy who likes to stand in the corner and wait for people to come across the screen, then I just start firing with my AK-47.”
Jennings and crew were doing battle against fellow NBAer Gordon Hayward in what must’ve been a special tall-people-only showdown.
Here’s what the flashy baller had to say between trigger pulls.
Jon Robinson: During the NBA season, do you still bring your video game system with you on the road?
Brandon Jennings: My rookie year I did. I used to take my video games with me on every road trip. I was still a kid. I was a rookie. But most of the time now, I just play at the house. I think I’m the only one on the team who even plays video games, so it’s no fun to bring it on the road. When I play now, I’m just playing against my friends.
Jon Robinson: What do you think of how your character is portrayed in the “NBA 2K” games? Is he good enough?
Brandon Jennings: Right now, they have me about an 80, so I’m all right with that. My team in “NBA 2K12” is the Orlando Magic because everybody from the guards to the 4 position all shoot 3s. That’s all I do in that game is shoot 3s.
Jon Robinson: As someone who grew up playing video games, does it trip you out to know that you’re now a video game character that millions of people are out there playing as?
Brandon Jennings: Oh, yeah, because when I was younger, I always tried to create myself. I would make myself too tall, or I’d cover myself in tattoos or give myself some crazy hairstyles. Now I’m in the game, and it’s pretty amazing.
Jon Robinson: Does he look like you in “NBA 2K12”?
Brandon Jennings: A little bit. I don’t like the hairstyle they gave me and they never put Under Armour shoes on me, but, hey, it is what it is. [Laughs.] When I play Dynasty mode and things like that, I just make myself all 99s and win every MVP.
Jon Robinson: How about when it comes to “Call of Duty,” do you even bother with the story mode, or do you just play online?
Brandon Jennings: I just like to play online with my friends. We just want to go in and battle and talk crap all day. I’m always coming out winning, of course.
Jon Robinson: The Bucks are a fun team to watch, but you guys fell short of making the playoffs. What is it going to take to bring your team up to that next level?
Brandon Jennings: I think now that we have Monta [Ellis], and I’m sure this summer we’ll make some moves and we’ll see who we get in the draft, but I think we’ll be OK. It was just a 68-game season (66, actually), and with the trade deadline and guys coming in and out, it was kind of a chemistry issue a little bit. Not on a bad side, but when you have new guys come in, it takes time to learn the system.
Jon Robinson: As a lifelong Warriors fan, it pained me to see Monta go.
Brandon Jennings: Oh, man, I know that hurt y'all. [Laughs.] I know that hurt.
Jon Robinson: Where do you rate a Jennings/Ellis backcourt among guard combos in the league?
Brandon Jennings: To me, I think it has a chance to be one of the best. We have two guys who can score at will and create their own shot.
Jon Robinson: You guys would be unstoppable in “NBA Jam.”
Brandon Jennings: Oh, yeah, for sure. Hell, yeah. “NBA Jam” was always one of my favorite games, too.
Jon Robinson: What are some of your other favorite old-school games?
Brandon Jennings: I used to play “NBA Jam” a lot, then I was hooked on “GoldenEye 007” for the Nintendo 64. After that, it was all about “NBA Live,” and I played all of those throughout the years.
Jon Robinson: I know it’s all about “Call of Duty” for you now, but as a gamer, where would you rate the “Call of Duty” franchise in terms of best all time? Top 10? Top five?
Brandon Jennings: It’s definitely in the top five. Before that, everyone was playing “Halo,” of course, but when “Call of Duty” came, it changed everything. It changed shooting games.
Jon Robinson: If “Call of Duty” is top five, what’s your No. 1?
Brandon Jennings: My favorite game of all time? Whew. I’d probably have to go with “Super Mario Bros.” Even after all these years, Mario still has it.