There are very few times in NBA history where a player gets ejected from a game, with his teammates praising him in the locker room afterward. We had one of those rare occurrences Tuesday night, as Jared Dudley was ejected from the Lakers’ win against the Orlando Magic. Shortly after the game, Anthony Davis and LeBron James had some love to show for the savvy veteran, as they were shown an example of what Dudley was talking about all the way back on media day (h/t Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen & Roll):
Anthony Davis: “One thing about us, we’re going to have each other’s backs no matter what. He (Dudley) stood up for his brother and I don’t think it was deserving of an ejection, but that’s what they called”
“He told you guys at media day his job is to come in here if somebody … do something crazy to me or AD or whoever on the team, he’s going to be the muscle.” – LeBron disagrees with the call to eject Jared Dudley, but he appreciates what Dudley did pic.twitter.com/UDfYHUmuKH
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 12, 2019
Personally, when I was watching the altercation break out between Dwight Howard and what seemed to be the entire Orlando Magic team (video below) I sort of knew Dudley would be involved sooner rather than later. Check out this clip from media day, where Dudley said he’d be willing to accept a fine if it meant defending the Lakers’ two superstars, Davis and LeBron.
— LakeShow Highlights (@LA_HighLights24) December 12, 2019
3 Months Ago, Jared Dudley said he'd take a $20,000 fine if anyone touched his teammates pic.twitter.com/tWYE45ivi7
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) December 12, 2019
As stated above, for his work in the “fight”, Jared Dudley was immediately ejected. The league doesn’t really like players coming in for the third or fourth push or shove, so they promptly ejected him.
Here’s what Dudley had to say about the whole mess:
“For one, it was multiple guys and the game was getting chippy already with a lot of fouls not being called both ways. I thought it should have been a double tech, but if they want to eject, they can eject.
“You’ve got to stand up for your guy. Sometimes it’s pushing, sometimes it’s a hard foul, sometimes it’s whatever you have to do. I couldn’t really get to him, so I just had to push the pile, make sure everybody moves.”
Davis and LeBron have to love that they’ve got a man off the bench that isn’t going to let anyone mess with them. And sure, Dwight Howard isn’t one of the Lakers superstars, but I have a feeling Dudley has been dying to do that all year. He saw his opportunity to defend his brothers, and he took it.