Jared Dudley is heading to Dallas.
The 14-year-old NBA veteran is exchanging his sneakers for a side seat, joining the Dallas Mavericks as assistant head coach Jason Kidd. Dudley confirmed the news on Tuesday.
For this, LeBron James is not pleased. He is happy with his leg. But he is visibly upset by the loss of a veteran who spent the past two seasons as a Lakers reserve and won a championship alongside James in 2020.
LeBron’s visceral reaction to Dudley’s departure
James made his feelings perfectly clear (using unsafe language for work) on Twitter after seeing an early report on Dudley’s decision.
Dudley had little impact on the ground in Los Angeles. In two seasons, he played 7.8 minutes per game in 57 games, averaging 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per appearance. So why is James so upset about losing him?
Let James explain.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some real, real pros when it comes to this role and the guys who are stars in their role, and Dodds is another one of those guys the team needs — I mean literally, whatever it is,” James said in January. The team needs – they are ready for anything on the ground or off the ground.” “And this is the diamond in the rough to get an aspiring football club to the championship. Dodds has been that for us the past two years.”
So yeah. James obviously places great value on what Dudley brings to the locker room. So do the Mavericks, it seems. And now Dudley is taking that talent to the Lakers’ Western Conference rival.
Dudley seemed to be on his way out of L.A. regardless of his decision to join Dallas. Chris Hines of Yahoo Sports reported last week that listing transactions are pending It means the possible end of Dudley’s time as a Lakers player. But James didn’t seem to think he was joining the Mavs bench.
Dudley’s feelings for James and the Lakers seem to be mutual. His Twitter bio on Tuesday still says, “It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of the Laker Nation!” He announced his retirement as a player by shouting to James and the Lakers.
In the end, it seems James would have preferred the Lakers to find a role for Dudley to keep him at home.
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