Although Jared Dudley has not been with the Los Angeles Lakers very long, he has already started to make quite the impression on his new teammates.
Dudley has taken on a bit of a mentorship role in recent seasons for teams that have largely struggled to compete for the NBA playoffs. Fortunately, he was finally able to enjoy the fruits of his labor with the Brooklyn Nets in their entertaining series against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
Despite his veteran status, Dudley emerged as one of the key players in the series for the young Nets thanks to his experience. It seems he plans to take on Kyle Kuzma as his next pupil in a long list of proteges.
I think over my last four or five years, I’ve been on mostly younger teams, so I’ve done a pretty good job of helping develop the youth,” Dudley said.
“When it comes to Giannis, I was actually starting over him and I told Jason Kidd and one of our assistant coaches to start him over me. I had Devin Booker, John Wall, and this year D’Angelo Russell. I think my primary (mentee) will be Kyle Kuzma; we play the same position, have the same agent. I see so much potential in him as a guy we’re going to need to reach our goal.”
Dudley added that he will also be doing what he can to ensure that everything is in order around Anthony Davis.
“With A.D., it’s not really teaching A.D. He knows everything. It’s maybe what I see out there on the floor when guys are giving him different looks. I remember times when I frustrated him and tried to front him and get into his head, techniques that veteran players try to use,” Dudley explained.
“His potential is to be the best player in the NBA. Two years ago, I think we all put him in the top three or top four. Obviously last year he was going through trade rumors and not really competing when it comes to playoffs, your game kind of gets taken out of it. I expect a huge year from him, an MVP type of season and a season where people talk about Anthony Davis being one of the top basketball players in the NBA.”
It is safe to say that Dudley has seemingly taken it upon himself to help young players grow into All-Star players. There is no question he shares the same hopes as Lakers fans do when it comes to maximizing the potential of Davis and Kuzma.
Los Angeles boasts perhaps the most formidable duo in the league with Davis and LeBron James, but there is still plenty of speculation regarding whether or not the supporting cast is strong enough to help them get into championship contention.
While Dudley’s signing did not make as many waves as some of the other additions, he seems poised to provide the team with plenty of bang for their buck on and off the court.