When it comes to game etiquette, Brandon Jennings is definitely old school.
He doesn’t believe it’s his job to help up an opponent who has been knocked to the floor. In fact, the backup point guard doesn’t think it’s the job of anyone on his Knicks team to help an opponent, which is something he made clear in the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ 110-96 win over the Nets at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
In a video that has been making the social media rounds, Jennings is shown grabbing rookie Willy Hernangomez by the arm to stop him from helping the Nets’ Rondae Hollis-Jefferson off the floor after he was fouled by Mindaugas Kuzminskas.
“When we’re between the lines and you have a New York Knicks jersey on, I think that’s all we should be worried about,” Jennings said after practice on Thursday before the team headed to Boston for Friday night’s game against the Celtics. “I mean, would they help us up? I wouldn’t want another opponent to help me up. That’s just showing too much respect.
“In between the lines, you don’t have a New York jersey on, then you don’t mean nothing to me.”
Knicks fans have long had a soft spot for tough, take-no-prisoners guys, dating to Charles Oakley and Kurt Thomas. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek smiled when asked about the video, indicating that he liked the message it sends.
“I kinda like what Brandon did,” he said. “He’s feisty. You’ve got to play with emotion. You’ve got to play with that mentality that ‘hey, I have to do whatever I can to win.’ Whatever a player feels that is, that’s good. You want guys who want to win.”
Jennings, who is in his eighth season but first with the Knicks, had a season-high 11 assists on Wednesday night and inspired the bench to take control of the game. He said he learned to play this way as a rookie in Milwaukee from veterans Thomas and Jerry Stackhouse. Now he’s just passing it forward to the next generation.
“It’s all from the ’90s, from the ’80s. Back in the day, you help your own teammates out,” Jennings said. “I’m not saying you go out there and purposely try to hurt anybody, but if it’s a foul and they call it, that’s on you. Get up on your own.”
Jennings said he and Joakim Noah continued to instruct Hernangomez after the game.
Said Jennings: “I think he got [the point]. He’s gonna be in this league a long time. The meaner you are between the lines, the more respect you get from your teammates.”
Notes & quotes: The Baseball Hall of Fame loaned the Knicks a plaque showing Hornacek as a winner of MLB’s 1972 national Pitch, Hit & Throw contest . . . The Knicks recalled guard Ron Baker and center Marshall Plumlee from D-League Westchester.