Dudley is now going to be an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks.
Throughout the last few years, Jared Dudley has been one of the most beloved veterans on the Los Angeles Lakers roster. While he hasn’t always gotten the most playing time, players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis have acknowledged Dudley as one of the true leaders of the team. This offseason, some thought that Dudley would get re-signed by the Lakers although the team decided to sign younger free agents instead. As a result, Dudley retired from playing and became an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks.
Now, in a report from Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times, Dudley is opening up about his situation with the Lakers, and how he felt like the team made a mistake. As Dudley explains, the team should have been focused on veteran leadership and that letting him go was ultimately the wrong thing to do.
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“No one owed me anything, Rob and Kurt were honest and upfront, nothing but respect and gratitude to them and Jeanie [Buss], I will be forever thankful for the opportunity they gave me,” Dudley said. “But I did want to come back. I did think I could help the team, especially having so many new players, but I understand they wanted to get younger. I talked to Rob and Kurt, I thanked them, but I told them, you’re valuing youth more than a locker room presence guy. I said, ‘I respect you for doing that, but I think you’re wrong.’”
The Lakers are bringing in a lot of new players this season and while Dudley will certainly be missed, you can’t help but feel like the Lakers were an impossible situation. At the end of the day, the NBA is a business and these things are bound to happen.
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