While Jared Dudley may not have been the most notable signing the Los Angeles Lakers made in 2019 NBA free agency, he is one of the few players on the roster whose role appears to be set in stone.
Despite just joining the Lakers, Dudley has already gotten well-acquainted with some of his new teammates, especially Quinn Cook after gifting him with the No. 2 he had initially planned on wearing. It is this type of unselfish mentality that he has managed to provide for teams throughout his career.
Dudley has prided himself on serving as an open book for all the young, developing teams he has played for through the years. The 34-year-old feels his mindset and experience have motivated him to take on a leadership role within the locker room:
“First things first, I went four years to school. I think just your knowledge if you compare it to a student in the classroom who gets good grades and they can tutor other kids. For me, I wasn’t really built for athleticism or speed. I always had to rely on my mind and my instincts. When you look at my game and someone like myself being in 13 years, that surprises a lot of people,” Dudley explained during a conference call.
“I’ve always been a believer of taking knowledge from every great player that I played with. Steve Nash, the positive energy. In life, I always look at the glass as half full instead of half empty. When it comes to positive energy, people can kind of feel your vibe when you’re in a room and how sincere you are when you’re on the bench clapping it up for a teammate. They know when you’re just clapping just to do it and they know when you really care. I think just being a genuine person, people respect you and having knowledge of what you’re talking about. With every good leader, you have to be able to take criticism and say when you messed up. I know how to do that so people can see the good and the bad.”
There is no question that Dudley has always been well aware of where his strengths lie. Entering his 13th season in the NBA, he finds himself relying on his basketball intelligence more and more these days.
The 34-year-old spent the bulk of his career largely playing for younger, inexperienced teams still trying to develop into potential playoff contenders. It is safe to say that he is excited to finally put his skill set to use for a Lakers team with championship expectations.