Joe Dumars: First of all, I just want to thank you all for coming out and welcome Brandon Jennings and his mom to Detroit. Welcome to the Detroit family.
The basic reason for doing the deal to bring Brandon here was that we looked at Brandon's skill-set, we looked at what he's done on the floor for the past four years, and we just felt like he would be a really really good fit here in Detroit with the roster that we've put together. We felt that he's a guy that can score *and* distribute, and that was important to us.
We also like the fact that he has five years of pro experience, one in Italy and four in Milwaukee. And we thought that he could step right in, hit the ground running and fit with the rest of our guys. So, when this opportunity came along and John Hammond started discussing it, the more we discussed it, the more I felt really comfortable that Brandon could be a great fit for us.
So, [I'm] very, very pleased to have him here and looking forward to him joining the rest of the guys and getting going, building chemistry and being a point guard that can come in and, like I said, as we said, hit the ground running and help us immediately. And so, that was the basis for doing the deal, and we're extremely happy to have Brandon here.
Jennifer Hammond: This is a question for Brandon ... Wondering, what you feel like you can bring to the table with this Pistons team and just your impressions of the team, some of the young talent and some of the guys they've gotten this summer?
Brandon Jennings: Well, first off -- I'm just real excited to be here. This is a new beginning for me in my career. I think just being here overall is going to help my game and my career, take it to the next level, especially with the pieces that we have.
Things that I can bring to the table, just a lot of energy, of course I want to win, I've helped the Bucks get to the playoffs twice already. So, I just want to bring that winning mentality back into Detroit again.
Vince Ellis: A couple of days before the news came out, you were at the Drew League wearing a Detroit Bad Boys t-shirt, a picture got widely circulated across Twitter. Did you have an inclination this was going on at the time -- and, how long did your fandom of the Pistons go back?
Jennings: Well, actually, I had just saw the shirt and I just liked it, I guess. (Laughter) Um, yeah. I just liked the shirt, that's all.
Langlois: Brandon, Joe talked about what you can do for the Pistons. How do you see the talent you're going to be playing with, especially that front court, helping you become maybe a better point guard?
Jennings: Well, just for one, this will be my first year actually playing with a front court like this, with Drummond, Greg Monroe and also Josh Smith. I think we got the two top big men in the league, especially two young guys that have a lot of potential. They're going to make my job a lot easier, and of course I'm going to make their job a lot easier. I guess you can say we can bring the "Lob City" to Detroit this year.
Vince Goodwill: Going into free agency, you had to have a lot of high expectations for what you thought you were going to get on the open market. How frustrating was that process for you to be sitting and waiting and not get the contract that you initially thought you were going to get?
Jennings: Well, it wasn't that frustrating at all, because I know I had a good agent in my corner, so the main thing is sometimes you just have to be patient, and wait. And that's just all I was doing all summer is being patient and waiting. I just kept my mind on working out and just trying to get better. Just didn't think about it too much.
Bob Wojnowski: You come here with a lot of credentials but also questions about your offensive efficiency, take a lot of shots, stuff like that, just things that people critique your game on. Do you come here with something to prove, with maybe even a little chip to show you are more of a complete player?
Jennings: Yeah, of course I have that chip on my shoulder. But this year I think you're going to see a whole different player, just with all the talent I have around me. The veterans that's in the locker room -- guys like Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Joe Dumars, Mo Cheeks -- all these guys played at high levels. So now I can just actually be himself and be who I was five years ago when I was in high school, playing AAU basketball.
Ellis: Since you didn't dodge my first question, I'll ask this question. When you look at the Pistons' tradition, and -- talk about Detroit vs. Milwaukee -- from outside looking in, people will look at Milwaukee and Detroit as similar cities, rust belt cities, Midwestern cities. Why here and not Milwaukee?
Jennings: Well for one it was out of my control. For two, Detroit has more championships, they're the Bad Boys. If you go back in the 80s when Joe Dumars was playing and Isiah Thomas, probably the best two guard backcourt ever to play the game. Just real fiesty, this is actually a great sports town just overall. They have a lot of tradition here.
Question: Joe, this is a two-pronged question for you. With the moves that you have made this summer, are there still more coming, do you still feel like there are some things that you would like to try to do, and secondly, do you feel like Brandon is perhaps the piece that can get this team over the top to compete for the playoffs again for the first time since 08-09?
Dumars: Yeah, I do feel like the roster that we have right now is a roster that can compete for the playoffs. In terms of being the last move, I would say Jennifer that I don't foresee us doing anymore big moves. Maybe something smaller. With signing Peyton Siva yesterday we have 14 roster spots, and so we'll probably look at filling the last spot with a frontcourt guy. But I don't foresee any other major deals going on, I think this -- it would have to come out of the clear blue if it did. I think from what I'm seeing right now, this is probably the last major deal we're going to do.
Langlois: Joe, I'm guessing you've seen Brandon play for four years, you kind of knew what he can do on the floor. Given your relationship with John Hammond, did you feel like you had a better insight into him than maybe other guys you might acquire via trade?
Dumars: John and I have talked about Brandon quite a bit, even before we talked about actually making a trade, just over the years, over the last four years being there, I would ask him about different guys on his team, Brandon, what kind of kid is he? Just in normal conversation that we would have. I've been in some ways knowing about him and talking about him over the last four years just because John and I are so close and we talk about our teams all the time.
Question: Joe, this is a question for both of you guys. There's been a lot of talk about how Brandon has to change his game -- or maybe submerge his game -- from what it was in Milwaukee. A) Do you agree with that, and B) what does that exactly mean? What type of player does he have to become compared to the player that he's been?
Dumars: I think anytime you put a lot of talent on the floor, I think it's incumbent upon everybody to make sure that their games mesh. I don't think it falls upon one guy to do that. I think Andre and Greg and Josh and Chaunce and everybody else, you have to kind of sacrifice to make sure that it works and to make sure that you have good chemistry. If you're trying to depend on one guy to make sure that the chemistry is good, that's usually not going to happen. So, I would say that falls on every single guy on our roster to make sure that the chemistry works.
Question: But did you have that conversation with him initially?
Dumars: We have that conversation with every player. Every player we have, we talk about that. So we don't ever single out one player about making it work, we have that conversation with every single player that we acquire.
Terry Foster: Brandon, you said a few minutes ago that we will see the player that played five years ago. Who is that guy, and how can that guy help this team this year?
Jennings: Well, I mean, just to answer the question, like he said, I definitely have to change my game for this team, for my teammates, everybody to be successful. Just with the talent that I have around me, you know we have a great front court, we have some great vets, we have Stuckey, we have Billups, we have a bunch of great players, so the things that I was doing in Milwaukee, I won't have to do here, take all those bad shots, because we have so many pieces.
Wojo: Joe, just looking at your offseason overall, with the moves you've made with Brandon and Josh Smith, bringing in very talented guys that maybe have an edge to them, or maybe people have had questions about them before. Is there some element of you that is going back to the formula that worked before where you get pieces that, like I said, have an edge and questions and put them together and make it work?
Dumars: I don't know if that's been "the plan," I can't say that's been the plan. I will say this, is that, I think most of you guys in this room realize that over the last, I don't know, 20-some years, Detroit has never been afraid to have guys who kind of bring a little edge. That works in Detroit. I can't speak for other places, but, to bring guys in with an edge, playing with a chip on their shoulder, that's always been successful here. So we're not afraid to go down that road, that doesn't dissuade us at all from going after guys like that. As a matter of fact, we like guys like that.