Jared Dudley confirmed reports of his retirement on Tuesday afternoon via Twitter, announcing the end of his 14-year career. On Tuesday morning, reports began to surface first from longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein then from Shams Charania of The Athletic that Dudley would be joining the Dallas Mavericks’ coaching staff, putting an end to his playing days.
Dudley confirmed both aspects of that in a pair of tweets while also offering thanks to the Lakers, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and owner Jeanie Buss.
Man what a ride! 14 yr NBA career capped off by winning a NBA championship with the @Lakers! Just want to thank GOD for blessing me, also want to personally thank @KingJames @AntDavis23 @JeanieBuss and the Lakers organization,Without Bron and AD I don’t join LAL or wing a— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 24, 2021
I been preparing this moment for a long time! From deep talks With Nash, Hill, Shaq, Bron, Booker, Beal, AD, Giannis the list goes on.. Very excited to Join the MAVS and JKidd staff! Perfect fit and opportunity… Time to get to work— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 24, 2021
Dudley two seasons in Los Angeles saw him play in just 57 games in the regular season, averaging 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds. He also appeared in 11 playoff games, nine of those coming inside the bubble in Orlando in the 2019-20 season.
His impact on the Lakers, though, far exceeded on-court play. One of the key voices in the locker room, Dudley was a guided the Lakers as one of the team’s leaders despite his role at the end of the bench. Most recently, he served a valuable role in helping recruit Russell Westbrook to the Lakers and his impact on the team was seen as he and LeBron James were pictured in a farewell dinner with Kyle Kuzma after he was traded.
Interestingly, James seemed taken by surprise in Dudley’s decision as he took to Twitter himself on Tuesday to react to the news, another sign of Dudley’s importance and role within the team.
Congrats to my guy if this true, which is probably is! But ♂️ man!! FUCK— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2021
Excuse my language but still one hurt!! For many reasons that you wouldn’t understand. ♂️ ♂️ ♂️ ♂️ ♂️— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 24, 2021
Dudley was as enjoyable a Laker as any during his brief time in Los Angeles. His leadership and voice within and outside of the locker room will be missed by the Lakers. However, those traits also make a move toward coaching all the more obvious.
Best of luck to Dudley in Dallas and thanks for the two seasons!