Jennings kicks off All-Star weekend tonight

Jim Paschke reports from snowy Dallas

It's been a couple years since the Bucks had someone at all-star weekend--remember Yi Jianlian?--so it's nice that we at least have Brandon Jennings to watch in multiple events over the next couple days.  And the fact that he's rocking the high-top Gumby look?  Well that's just gravy.

Tonight he'll be starting for the rookies against a sophomore team that won't have Derrick Rose (8 pm, TNT), and he'll also be competing tomorrow night in the skills competition (7:30, TNT).  Hopefully he can make that 20-foot jump shot in the skills challenge...seriously.  We'll be posting updates in the comments throughout the night.

There's also been word that he's helping DeMar DeRozan in his dunk-off against Eric Gordon tonight.  That'll go down at halftime of the rookie game, with the winner going to the dunk contest tomorrow night.  Other Jennings-related news and notes from Dallas:

ESPN: Jennings not your typical rook
There have been plenty of profiles written about Brandon Jennings this year, so it's cool to see Anna Katherine Clemmons not just rehashing all the stuff we've already heard in this piece for ESPN.  Yes, there's the obligatory stuff about Rome and at this point he has to have the world's most-talked-about Ford Edge.  But there's also talk about his dominating preseason practices, making snow angels with his little brother, and reasons why Scott Skiles is such a believer:

"He needs to improve in shot selection, making shots and defense," Skiles said. "But the things he does very well -- handling the ball, running the offense, not turning the ball over -- those are things that are really hard to teach. The other things we can work with him on, and with experience, will take care of itself."

Thorpe: Rookie/Soph rankings
David Thorpe takes a look at the draft classes of '08 and '09 together, using some sort of black box current play/future potential system to rank them.  Alright, whatever.  Anyway, Jennings comes out only at #13, but I think Thorpe makes a couple good points:

Who is the real Brandon Jennings -- the young man who tore up the league in November or the one who has struggled the past two months? I see it like this: If a player can play great for a month, then that is the goal to shoot for down the road, since he showed the ability to reach that level to begin with (as opposed to hoping a player can reach that level without ever seeing him do it).

Jennings has grabbed a lot of attention in basketball circles, so consequently he will be very busy at All-Star Weekend in Dallas. Ironically, though, it's probably the worst thing for him. If any player needs time to catch his breath and re-energize for the second half of the season, it's Jennings.

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