"Me playing with 'Bron was really a dream come true" - Jared Dudley recalls his time with LeBron James and LA Lakers, reflects on his current role for Dallas Mavericks

LA Lakers superstar forward LeBron James earns praise from Jared Dudley.
LA Lakers superstar forward LeBron James earns praise from Jared Dudley.

NBA veteran Jared Dudley played for a variety of teams during his career, and LeBron James made a lasting impact.

Jared Dudley had the opportunity to play with some of the game's top talents in his 14 seasons. The journeyman forward was always a popular addition to teams because of his ability to stand out with his character and play.

After spending the last two year with the LA Lakers, Dudley returned to the NBA this year in a different role. The 36-year-old accepted a position as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks under new head coach Jason Kidd.

In a recent interview by Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times, Dudley talked about his time with the Lakers, as well as his role as an assistant coach.

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Dudley highlighted how special it was to play with LA Lakers superstar LeBron James.

"Me playing with 'Bron was really a dream come true. I mean, from the dinners, the conversations, the film sessions in the bubble."

Dudley, picked No. 22 overall in the 2007 draft by the Charlotte Hornets, played for seven organizations, eventually winning a championship with the Lakers in the bubble in 2020. He then played a career-low 12 games last season in his second year with Los Angeles before becoming an assistant with Dallas this season.

Even though Dudley wanted to play another year, it looks as if he's enjoying the new challenge of coaching.

“I really wanted to play one last season with the Lakers, to be honest, but I’m also loving coaching,” Dudley said. “I’ve always wanted to be a coach and for J-Kidd to give me this opportunity, I am so grateful.”

A new challenge in the NBA for Jared Dudley

Jared Dudley during his time with the LA Lakers
Jared Dudley during his time with the LA Lakers

It's never easy for a player to have to call it "quits," but Dudley talked throughout the article about his enjoyment playing with the Lakers and James. Dudley praised Lakers fans specifically, talking about how passionate they are and how they understand the value of all types of players on the roster. Dudley averaged 1.3 points and 7.8 minutes in 57 appearances in his two seasons in Los Angeles.

Although Dudley was a bench player, he still talked about the special bond that remains with the organization and the ability to help James win at the highest stage.

"I don’t care if you did one percent, to if you were the superstar of LeBron and Magic, they respect winning at the highest level," Dudley said. "So, for me to be able to do it with them, to help LeBron’s legacy, it means everything for me."

Dudley was a popular presence in the locker room. Playing the game with passion, he was known as a "glue guy." Now, as a member of the Dallas Mavericks coaching staff, Dudley could have the opportunity to make an impact with his knowledge of the game for years to come.

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