There are only two types of people in the world: Those who hate Jared Dudley and those who love Jared Dudley.
The Los Angeles Lakers forward has been in the NBA for years now, finally taking home a championship last season. The Lakers have been out of contention since the first round after they got booted out by the Phoenix Suns. But still, Dudley's presence has been felt throughout the NBA Finals.
Or at least that's what he likes to think.
Brooklyn Nets reporter Billy Reinhardt pointed out that Dudley has played with key guys in the NBA Finals, including the Milwaukee Bucks' pair of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton and the Suns' backcourt duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. Dudley, however, also noted that he also played with PJ Tucker.
And PJ!!!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣 https://t.co/7obXOpTeZC
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) July 21, 2021
Did the 36-year-old Dudley, who has played for seven teams in 15 seasons, just take credit for the resurgence of these players? Knowing his fun-loving character, it's not implausible. But of course, it's all in good fun.
But there's also truth in it. Dudley indeed mentored Giannis during his early days in the NBA when he was with the Bucks in the 2014-2015 season (via Basketball Insiders), and he did have an impact on the eventual two-time MVP.
“I think the year I left, Giannis said that he missed me in the game huddle adjustments I used to tell him.”
Dudley, who returned with the Suns in the 2016-2017 season also took Booker under his wing, hanging out with the then-rookie frequently to help him transition to the rigors of the NBA.
We stan Jared Dudley!