Revenge can be a dish best served cold, and Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley appears to be playing the long game.
Dudley is 35 now and doesn’t see much playing time. But the player, who’s always been outspoken, appears to be the Lakers’ de facto spokesperson because his impact really seems to be felt on the quote sheet. Or in a short book.
Dudley wrote a book about his experience with the Lakers last year, and he’s got a very spicy quote about the annoyance of the LA Clippers talking trash last season. Or make that an annoyance at Clippers star Paul George in particular talking trash, as detailed by Silver Screen and Roll.
Well, this seems a bit odd. Parsing between Kawhi Leonard being able to talk because he has the history, and Patrick Beverley, who...is just an enormous trash talker, everyone knows this, and George, who apparently has no claim to speak with confidence is...uhhhhhhhhh, if you say so.
Honestly, if LeBron James were meting out these declarations, I think he’d have some legs to stand on, but it’s Jared Dudley, come on now.
That’s exactly how Clippers coach Ty Lue saw it when he was trying to extricate himself from a #narrative before it really even clicked into gear.
. @LawMurrayTheNU - "Jared Dudley released a book and said Paul George is —“— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 3, 2021
Tyronn Lue cuts him off - “A book? Jared Dudley? ... I know I can't cuss on here so I won't, but who cares? Just be who you are, play your game. Who cares what people say?”#Clippers pic.twitter.com/hp0rkvLtVY
When asked about it directly after Wednesday’s game, George simply said, “God bless him. God bless you, Jared Dudley. I don’t know what it is, dudes love throwing my name in stuff, but God bless you, Jared.”
So what drives Dudley to diss PG? Is it a real weighing up of who gets to talk, and what level you have to be at to get that mantle? Is it due to perceived deficiencies in George’s game? A desire to enact mind games on an opponent who has shown vulnerabilities before?
Oh, it’s probably from George making fun of Dudley on Twitter over 10 years ago.
I can't stand lookin at Jared Dudley he funny lookin lol I respect his game tho!— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) May 26, 2010
George was still a Fresno State player when he tweeted that. I have to believe Dudley has, this entire time, been using PG as his dart board, his voodoo doll, waiting for the moment to insult his enemy for the past decade, and with his booklet Dudley has decided that yes, now is the time, when he is on top of the heap by (technically) winning an NBA title while not playing much for the Lakers, and George, a star who had a bad playoffs, must really feel the sting.
I truly cannot wait for the next chapter in this beef.
More news for Thursday:
- Clips beat Cavs: Oh yeah, George scored 36 points and tied a franchise record by making eight 3-pointers Wednesday in Cleveland. Well, maybe he has fresh motivation from Dudley now!
- USA Basketball planning pre-Olympics bubble: I’m still not sure if the Tokyo Olympics will proceed as scheduled this year, but the powers that be for the U.S. Men’s National Team would like to go into a pre-Olympics bubble in Las Vegas alongside the Spanish and Australian teams, so they can play each other and prep together. I’ll be very curious to see which Americans actually participate in the Olympics, if they happen this year.
- No positive tests (in the NBA): One piece of good news is that zero NBA players tested positive for coronavirus in the last week. Now, let’s work our way up to the rest of human society.
- Unlikely VanVleet is balling: Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has come a long way since joining the NBA, and this story from The Ringer after his 54-point night this week sheds light on that performance and the journey to get there.