Jared Dudley is headed to the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant coach and LeBron James has some big feelings about losing his former teammate.
LeBron James has always been incredibly loyal to his teammates and it’s not an accident that countless role players have ended up following him from stop to stop. If you prove yourself to LeBron, he’s going to want to keep you around.
Jared Dudley played just 445 minutes with the Lakers over the past two seasons but his veteran experience and leadership were clearly something LeBron valued highly. It was announced yesterday that Dudley, who was an unrestricted free agent, would retire to join the Dallas Mavericks and Jason Kidd as an assistant coach. LeBron appears to have learned the news on Twitter and he didn’t hold back.
LeBron James was a big mood when he learned about Jared Dudley
It’s been several years since Dudley was a meaningful on-court contributor but he’s played an important role as a veteran mentor for the Lakers, Nets and Phoenix Suns over the past few seasons — all experience that should have him well prepared for this next step with the Mavericks.
He will finish his 14-year playing career with averages of 11.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game, having made 39.3 percent of his 3-pointers. He was a key contributor for the Suns from 2009 to 2013, starting in 308 games and helping solidify the wing his outside shooting and capable, versatile defense. He is still No. 8 on the franchise list for most 3-pointers made.
It’s not clear if Dudley would have had a roster spot with the Lakers this season, who already have 12 players under contract. Even if he was on the team, it would have been in a leadership role and so it makes sense that he jumped at an opportunity to move directly into the coaching rankings.