After having just traveled around Europe for the last month- I feel I might have some knowledge that Brandon Jennings might need. Here are ten reasons that going Euro might not have been the best idea.
1. The Exchange Rate: Ok so you’ll be getting a salary instead of a stipend, seems like a better deal but let me remind you that the Pound to the dollar is 2-1 and the Euro is 1.5 to 1. So when you come “home” for the 2009 draft you’ll have lost money, that Euro salary isn’t looking so sweet now.
2. The Language Barrier: French people don’t care at all to help a poor foreigner understand their language in fact they send you in the wrong direction just to get a good laugh- and in Italy, most are yelling too much to even point you in the right direction, you’re going to get lost. At least in Tucson the official language is Spanglish and there is the common ground of the Viva Burrito menu which everyone seems to understand.
3. Women: I don’t think European women are impressed with athletes at all, unless you play football (American Soccer) so while you could have been a God at the U of A regardless of how you look in person, in Europe you better learn to step your game up.
4. Cars: European cars are tiny, and most have hatchbacks, the last time I saw a professional athlete driving a hatchback was well… never. There aren’t any cars made for people over 6’ in Europe.
5. Work: You’re going straight from High School to the real world with more barriers than most ( see above), college is a time to learn the slim balance between being completely lazy and getting work done and understanding the shortcuts that get you from one point to another. Instead you’re going to have a real job and real responsibilities-alas you could have been in Tucson with a coaching staff that walked you to your 8 am English class ( i.e., Mr. Hassan Adams).
6. Housing: European housing is unique it’s small and old. The only mansions are reserved for royalty and sorry Brandon but you are no King James just yet.
7. Smoking: All Europeans smoke, especially the women. While you may find in Tucson your conformer smokers that are still at 18-23 trying to fit in with the crowd you can still get clean air- in Europe hope is lost- I watched a woman in her 60’s smoke while next to her own oxygen tank - it’s hazy over there Brandon.
8. Fans: See Women. In Europe the most awesome fans stick with football- Euro league fans are somewhat suspect, and the fact that they will most likely know your just trying to get your step up to the NBA well they might now like you too much. However, had you chosen the road of higher education, you could have been U of A’s new hero, the one to get us past the second round of the NCAA tournament.
9. Weather: You have two options here A: cold and rainy or B: hot and humid. Say what you may about Tucson, but it only rains for two weeks a year and while it’s hot it’s never humid- it’s a dry heat and plenty of pools with parties to cool you down.
10. Food: Be prepared for pasta, baguettes and crepes- there will be no deliveries, dipping or open until 5 am places to grub. You could have been in Tucson where there are no less than 500 Mexican drives thru open 24 hours, and at least 15 will deliver until 3 am on your speed dial.