Skip to main content

Jared Dudley offers perspective in revealing book on Lakers, NBA bubble

Veteran NBA journeyman discusses cross-town rivalry with Clippers

LOS ANGELES -- Jared Dudley didn’t hide behind the attention-grabbing words in his new book on the Los Angeles Lakers and the team’s experience in the Orlando bubble last year on their NBA title run.

Dudley answered questions from reporters for 17 minutes on that subject and others after the release of the book on Amazon prime this week -- “Inside the NBA Bubble: A Championship Season Under Quarantine.”

Most media outlets latched onto Dudley’s comments about his team’s crosstown rival, the Los Angeles Clippers and swingman Paul George.

In the breezy, 42-page book, the 35-year-old veteran shares his reflections on his first introduction to COVID-19, how he helped get players on board to playing in the NBA buddle as one of the Lakers’ team union representatives, how they dealt with protests against racial injustice around the country and a slice-of-life perspective of the innerworkings of the NBA bubble, including how James helped build team chemistry that ultimately led to the Lakers winning their 17th NBA title.

Dudley also talks about taking care of his eight-old son Justus and having him in the bubble with him -- without his wife Christina and two daughters, Jaylin and Jolee present in the bubble.

“People love this,” Dudley said about the book. “We’re entertainers. There’s a line, and maybe I cross it, but that’s life.”

The book starts with the awful news of Kobe Bryant’s death, which the Lakers find out about on the plane while flying back to Los Angeles after a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on January 26 of last year.

“He just won an Academy Award,” Dudley says about the tragic event in the book. “He just talked to Bron. I don’t believe what I’m hearing. I’ve never had to process a loss like this. I don’t believe it. Don’t believe it. Nobody does.”

Dudley’s remarks about George can be found later, in response to the Clippers’ swingman saying he and Kawhi Leonard were the most talented duo in the NBA last season.

The Clippers would go on relinquish a 3-1 lead and lose to the Denver Broncos in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.

“We know that there are some real feelings regarding the Clippers,” Dudley says in the book. “It’s more than just battle-for-LA stuff, though that’s part of it. Every day when we were on the outside, we were all driving past billboards without Kawhi Leonard wearing a crown. In our city. We didn’t like that.

“We hear of some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in LA. It’s fine if Kawhi says stuff like that. He’s defending a championship. We don’t trip if someone like Patrick Beverley is talking trash; that’s how he feeds his family. We get it. We respect the hustle. But we think it’s disrespectful for Paul George, who hasn’t won to put himself on the level of Bron and AD (Anthony Davis). That motivates us.”

For his part, Dudley said he was just sharing his thoughts on the Clippers-Lakers’ rivalry.

“We all look for motivation,” Dudley said. “And when it comes to certain people and what they say, there’s a reason why LeBron and AD don’t say anything when comes to other teams and what they’re going to do. They just go out and do it, that’s their perspective. I like to talk, Pat Beverley likes to talk, and people have their own distinct personalities. So, you take certain things, you put them back in your memory bank and you remember what people say.”

George addressed Dudley’s comments in the book during Zoom conference call with reporters after his team’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday.

“God bless him. God bless you Jared Dudley,” George said. “I don’t know what it is, dudes love throwing my name in stuff. But God bless you Jared. Next question.”

Added Clippers head coach Tyrone Liu: “I know I probably can’t cuss on here so I won’t cuss, but who cares? Just be who you are, play your game. Who cares what people say and what the outside people think.”