How much more can the Los Angeles Lakers fanbase take?
The Lakers are having quite an offseason. They have acquired future Hall of Famers Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, but at what cost? Getting those stars meant that the Lakers had to wave goodbye to cult hero Alex Caruso, who sought greener pastures in the East and hit paydirt by signing with the Chicago Bulls. The GOAT 1A is gone in Hollywood, folks. And now, Jared Dudley, the GOAT 1B has also left La La Land. In fact, he’s bid adieu to his playing days.
Dudley averaged just 7.3 points per game in 904 regular-season games in the NBA during a professional career that started way back in 2007. The league had seen major changes in its landscape throughout Dudley’s stint in the NBA as a player which saw him start in fewer than 30% of his total game appearances. Even though he’s nearly played 1,000 games in the pros, his career was too mediocre for people to build statues of him.
In Dudley, though, ordinary Joes had someone they can always bring up by the fourth hour of a drinking session as a living reinforcement to the idea that anyone can score a bucket or two in the NBA if given a chance. Dudley is among the last guys in the NBA that looked like they’re in the NBA. It’s almost ironic that he spent the last two seasons with the Lakers — alongside LeBron James, who is one of the freakiest athletes in history. It’s almost like Dudley was just there to be some sort of a visual reference for normal people to check how different real athletes are compared to us.
Maybe, that’s an unfair way to sum up Jared Dudley, the player. After all, this is a dude whose NBA career-high in points is better than Chandler Parsons’ and Evan Turner’s.
Dudley probably may not have lasted 14 years in the NBA if not for its shift somewhere in the middle of the 2010s into a 3-point shooting league that was heavily influenced by the Phoenix Suns team that he played with for seven years. A 3-point specialist, Dudley suddenly saw his most identifiable weapon given more premium when the NBA subscribed to ultra-modern basketball ideals and he rode that along with his excellent locker room skills to carve out a unique career.
He also had a hell of a knack for finding himself in a lot of dust-ups, which always kept everyone guessing.
Remember, not everyone has to be a superstar to make an impact on their team. King James himself wasn’t too pleased to hear that Dudley was hanging his sneakers up.