Brandon Jennings(notes) established himself as one of the NBA's top young guards last season, but that wasn't enough for him to get invited to try out for the U.S. world championship team like fellow rookies Tyreke Evans(notes) and Stephen Curry(notes).
Jennings thinks he knows one of the factors why. Evans and Curry both wear Nike, Team USA's big sponsor. Jennings wears Under Armour shoes.
"It's not my call. That's on them," Jennings told Yahoo! Sports. "But if you want to get technical about it and you really want to look at it, half of the guys there are Nike guys. I'm not saying it's a Nike thing, but Nike is kind of running a lot of things right now. To have a guy like myself on the USA team that's flashy and really outgoing, you don't want Under Armour to get all that [publicity].
"I'm just telling you how it is."
Of the 12 members of Team USA's roster, only Chauncey Billups(notes), Derrick Rose(notes) and Eric Gordon wore shoes other than Nike. Evans tried out for Team USA, but was not selected after spraining his ankle in training camp. Curry played in eight of Team USA's nine games in the world championships.
Jennings averaged 15.5 points, 5.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds as an NBA rookie last season. He finished third behind Evans and Curry in Rookie of the Year balloting.