It has been announced that NBA veteran Jared Dudley will be joining the Dallas Mavericks’ coaching staff as an assistant head coach. The move was originally reported by NBA insider Shams Charania. Dudley later confirmed it on his Twitter account, while thanking several people who helped put him in the position he’s in.
“I been preparing this moment for a long time! From deep talks With Nash, Hill, Shaq, Bron, Booker, Beal, AD, Giannis the list goes on,” Dudley wrote. “Very excited to Join the MAVS and JKidd staff! Perfect fit and opportunity… Time to get to work.”
In his announcement, Dudley also took the time to thank the Los Angeles Lakers, the team that gave him his first and only ring and capped off his playing career.
Man what a ride! 14 yr NBA career capped off by winning a NBA championship with the @Lakers! Just want to thank GOD for blessing me, also want to personally thank @KingJames @AntDavis23 @JeanieBuss and the Lakers organization,Without Bron and AD I don’t join LAL or wing a 💍
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 24, 2021
With the 36-year-old taking a new role on the sidelines, he’ll be joining another veteran NBA player turned coach Jason Kidd. Kidd and Dudley have much experience with one another, as Kidd served as an assistant for the Lakers for the past two seasons and also coached Dudley in 2014-15 under the Milwaukee Bucks. The two have known each other for quite a while now, so the chemistry and connection between the two are already established. Kidd was hired by the Mavericks earlier in the summer due to the departure of coach Rick Carlisle.
For Dudley, coaching in the NBA is something he’s wanted to take on after retiring. In a 2019 interview with the Orange County Register, Dudley explained the reason for it.
“When all is said and done, I might have a job within the Lakers organization. I might do TV. I might coach,” he said. “So, you just want to be connected with the fan base so people remember what kind of player I was off the court.”
Although Dudley is excited to take on this new coaching role in the league, it was not something he anticipated taking on just yet. According to The New York Times sports reporter Mark Stein, Dudley was “widely expected” to return as the Lakers’ 15th man in the 2021-22 season.
“The Lakers’ apparent preference, however, is to carry only 14 players and keep the 15th spot open for a down-the-road move, prompting Dudley to take the Dallas Mavericks’ offer to start his coaching career with a front-of-the-bench spot on Jason Kidd’s first Mavericks staff,” Stein wrote.
Dudley’s Lakers teammates were disappointed with the news, as the 14-year veteran provided much leadership and motivation to the team through the past few years.
“Congrats to my guy if this true, which [it] probably is! But man!! F—,” said Lebron James via Twitter. In another tweet, James wrote: “Excuse my language but this one hurt!! For many reasons that you wouldn’t understand.”
LeBron praised Dudley for being a significant piece to the Laker’s successful championship run. He explained that Dudley’s experience and mentorship was vital to the players.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some real professionals when it comes to that role, and guys that are stars in their role,” James said. “[Dudley] is another one of those guys, that whatever a team needs — I mean literally whatever a team needs he is ready for whatever both on and off the floor. That is a diamond in the rough to have for a championship-aspiring ball club.”
"Dudz is one of those guys, no matter what the team needs… he's ready for whatever. That's a diamond in the rough for a championship team." LeBron on the impact of @JaredDudley619. pic.twitter.com/3Abaruhzc3
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 9, 2021
Making an impact through any role he’s been given has always been a part of Dudley’s versatile game. During his tenure as a player, Dudley played for six teams, including the Lakers, Charlotte, the Clippers, Milwaukee, Washington and Brooklyn. Dudley averaged 7.3 points per game in 904 career games.
“From Our Haus to Yours”