Much has been made about the departure of one Jared Dudley, including arguments of his importance to the present-day being equal to that of Derek Fisher in the late 2000s.
From 2007 through 2011, Fisher played in 82 games each of those four seasons and was a key productive member of two championship teams (making trips to three finals). All due respect to Dudley, but no. I would not personally compare the last two years of Dudley’s Lakers tenure to any stretch of Fisher’s time with the organization. Just me, though.
Which brings me to an important point: Yes, Dudley has been an important voice in the locker room for two of the tougher seasons any Lakers team has faced. Yes, his voice will be sorely missed now as he embarks on his coaching career. He absolutely could’ve been valuable in a coaching role with the Lakers and will probably be a valuable asset to the Dallas Mavericks.
All that can be true, as can this: Jared Dudley probably isn’t the difference between winning and losing a championship next season.
This week on “I Love Basketball,” Sabreena Merchant and discuss the various layers to this Dudley story, including whether or not we believe that LeBron James and Anthony Davis fought tooth and nail to keep him in the locker room.
Just based on what we know about the working relationship between Rob Pelinka and the stars on his team, Dudley’s story doesn’t exactly fly.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.