Skiles addresses Jennings' comments

Updated: March 6, 2010, 6:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

WASHINGTON -- Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles spoke to Brandon Jennings about the slumping rookie guard's recent lament that he doesn't "even know if I want to shoot the ball."

"We're not fond of that kind of statement," Skiles said before the Bucks played at the Washington Wizards on Friday night. "He's too important to our team and our franchise to have any sort of defeatist-type mind-set right now. And he doesn't, really."

Skiles chalked up Jennings' words to coming in the "heat of the moment" after a game -- and to Jennings' being only 20 years old.

"We know where his heart lies. He's a really good person, he's hardworking, and he loves the game," Skiles said.

Jennings was down on himself after Wednesday's home victory over Washington, when he made only 2 of 12 shots and had six turnovers. He acknowledged that he's been "struggling pretty bad" and added, "I don't even know if I want to shoot the ball."

Entering Friday, he was averaging 9.9 points and shooting 25.3 percent over Milwaukee's previous eight games.

"We all know what people would want to hear, what your teammates would want to hear, and fans would want to hear, and coaches and everything, is: 'I'm going to play through it. I'm going to get better. I'm going to keep playing my game.' That's what the confident guys say," Skiles said before the Bucks' victory over the Wizards on Friday night.

Jennings acknowledged his coach's point after the game, and called his own comments a result of "a moment of frustration, not thinking and just letting my anger out." He also said he's "always going to keep shooting."

"[Skiles] said it was a little bit immature and irresponsible," Jennings said. "You need to just play basketball and do other things out there on the court, and that's what I tried to do tonight."

Jennings finished 2 for 7 with four points, but did have nine assists in the Bucks' 102-74 win.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

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