Although he has only played towards the end of blowout games in the 2020 NBA Playoffs so far, Jared Dudley will continue to be a very positive influence on the Lakers through his veteran leadership that has been touted by every teammate he has had through his 13-year career. He has especially been a great mentor towards Kyle Kuzma, encouraging him and giving him pointers any chance he can get on the bench as well as in the media.
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) September 1, 2020
He will probably only be a voice of the bench moving forward, but that’s a loud and commanding voice that carries weight on this Lakers team. Dudley’s voice was recently featured in a GQ Magazine profile of the vet, being interviewed by Michael Pina. They spoke about many things, including the Bucks’ boycott and the subsequent meetings that happened between players, coaches, and owners. He was also asked by Michael Pina about the idea of the NBA’s games being distractions to America from the continued social justice fight against racist police brutality. Dudley disagreed with the notion, saying the following:
I’ve always believed our voices are stronger and louder together. We’re doing this interview now because we’re playing. I have GQ doing an interview now just because of what’s going on. We’re not doing this interview if I’m at home. So it brings awareness. You hear VanVleet. You hear George Hill. You don’t know those names. The only names you hear when we don’t play are LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry. You don’t hear these role players. Jaylen Brown? I just saw Jamal Murray put his Breonna Taylor shoes on the chair. You don’t get that if we sit. And then there’s the money. People say ‘it’s not always about money’ but money helps change communities. It’s not everything but it’s a big piece of what’s going on.
Dudley brings up a very interesting point, as players such as Fred Van Vleet and George Hill might not be able to get their voices out to the masses on their social media accounts as they can in post-game and pre-game interviews. They definitely couldn’t have had an impact like Hill and the Bucks had last Wednesday when they decided shortly before the game that they would boycott the match against the Orlando Magic. For reference to Dudley’s point about big names like LeBron James or Stephen Curry being able to get their voice out off the floor, Curry has 31 million followers while Van Vleet has 712 thousand. Quite the stark difference in reach.
As I said, Dudley is asked about many other aspects of the fallout from the Bucks’ boycott. Go check out Michael Pina’s full interview of Dudley on GQ’s website.