Jared Dudley has been one of the most candid voices in the league, quite the refreshing change that shines amid a bowl of PR salad and often meek responses to real issues. The new Los Angeles Lakers signing explained why older veterans like him and Vince Carter are more outspoken and willing to share more than the average NBA player when it comes to detail.
“Players get a little more candid towards the end of their career when they’ve made their money. You saw Kobe do it towards the end, you see LeBron doing it now where you kind of grow into yourself,” Dudley told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. “And I think that for me was, I kind of saw it was more refreshing and I did a lot of TV work and saw how they wanted guys to answer questions just being straight directly to the point. I think players respect it more. I think you can rub some players the wrong way, also, because there’s some stuff I’ve said that was controversial and it’s going to happen. But at least you could say it and people know where I stand. But then I think that you have to have an understanding of why you’re saying it.”
Players like Dudley and Carter are not only trying to juice out the last bit of their NBA careers, but also setting up their next step in life, which can likely be broadcasting or coaching. Being candid is one of the many features networks like ESPN, Turner, NBC, and others will look for when first scouting for talent, and Dudley’s got plenty of it heading into the last few years of his playing career.
The veteran admitted that part of being candid is also knowing when to be quiet about certain matters.
“I mean, hey, I play the politics game, too. There’s certain stuff that I don’t say,” he said. “When I go to a team for instance, on certain stuff, I just bite my tongue. Or if you asked me a certain question. But I feel like I could tell you stuff about, say, D’Angelo [Russell]’s flaws, because anything that I can say to you, I’ve probably said to him.”