Players received a major boost in morale when their families were permitted to enter the Orlando bubble heading into the second round of the playoffs. As one of only four teams remaining, the Los Angeles Lakers relished in being able to share the experience with their loved ones.
Rajon Rondo has had the luxury of relying on his brother since the season restart began on the Walt Disney World campus thanks to his role as the head of concierge services that oversaw the process of bringing barbers in to the hotels.
Meanwhile, Dion Waiters’ son, Dion Jr., went viral for his trash-talk to LeBron James during a shooting session after practice. Dion Jr. is not the only one getting to enjoy the perks of being at Lakers’ practice.
Jared Dudley’s son, Justus, has also been active in taking in the sights and sounds that come in a day’s work for NBA players. Although most of Dudley’s family returned home, “JuJu” and his grandmother remained to share the journey inside the bubble.
According to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, Dudley is glad to have his son learning from teammates:
“Easily the world’s greatest basketball camp — with the world’s greatest coaches and players,” Jared Dudley said. “He’s played 1-on-1 with AD and LeBron. He’s doing ballhandling drills with Phil Handy. That’s why, once my wife left, I decided to keep him here. I don’t know how many years I’ve got left playing, and I want him to remember this. How would you not remember something like this, of this magnitude?”
Dudley added the experience will pay some major dividends for him down the road:
“You can teach him a lot because he remembers everything. Good and bad. He’s a total sponge. He’s still at the point where he’s listening,” Dudley said. “… You teach him that now and eventually, you don’t say anything. You let him figure it out.”
While Dudley may have been the one serving as a mentor and leader on the Lakers for most of the season, he is now taking solace in watching his teammates take JuJu under their wing.
Rondo’s credits brother for boost
Rondo has been open about the importance of having his brother, William, inside the bubble and even credited him with helping provide motivation during the playoffs.
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