Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley will never make an All-Star game in his life, but if we’re picking an All-Star squad of the best personalities in the entire league, he’s absolutely a lottery pick.
On the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Dudley did what Dudley does: tap into his lengthy experience as an NBA vet to provide stories and insight we would never receive otherwise. And as it turns out, we weren’t the only ones who laughed at the
Los Angeles Temecula Clippers’ Game 7 implosion in the Western Conference Semifinals, as the 35-year-old admitted that the Lakers did the exact same thing.
“We were laughing,” Dudley said. “We were laughing. In a sense like, ‘I can’t believe it.’ I picked them to win Game 7. There’s no way I thought they were gonna lose. Our whole mind was we gotta beat the Clippers. We want the Clippers; they wanted us.”
Dudley then went on to mock Paul George’s infamous “Playoff P” monicker and how the Clippers had become a part of the Lakers’ everyday lives.
“Playoff P talking about ‘he the best,’ him and Kawhi with the commercials and the crown. We’re seeing all the billboards up here,” Dudley continued. “So when we go to practice every day, there’s a Kawhi billboard. We see that billboard every single day. The world wants it, the world picking the Clippers. [...] We were looking forward to that matchup.
“But those boys, they didn’t want to be in the bubble. They didn’t want to be there. I don’t blame them for certain times, but the world needed to see the Lakers and Clippers, and it’s unfortunate we didn’t get to see that.”
You goddamn right the world needed to see that shit.
After mortgaging their future in order to secure the services of PG-13 and Kawhi last summer, I drank the same Kool-Aid as everybody else and was 1,000 percent convinced that the Clippers would be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy on Sunday night. But with their glaring roster flaws, non-existent effort and maddening inconsistencies on full display against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Temecula Clippers (since Los Angeles doesn’t claim them no mo) inexplicably blew a 3-1 series lead and now are the laughingstock of the entire universe. Congrats!
Aside from dragging the Clippers, however, Dudley also dished on what life was like inside the NBA bubble and how it felt to finally leave.
“I don’t know if you guys have seen that picture. It’s me, Kuzma, Bron and [Anthony Davis]. We get off the plane, we walk down,” he said. “You ever seen the movie Shawshank Redemption? When he gets out of prison and his eyes are like... the air felt different. We’re sitting there for a minute just soaking it in.
“I’ve never been to prison. I’m not saying it’s like prison, but it felt like we were isolated from the world. So to get out, man, and be a champion and have that trophy? No better feeling I’ve had.”
As for the bubble itself, Dudley revealed that their accommodations were a bit questionable early on.
“It got off to a rocky start,” he said. “The hotel wasn’t prepared for that many people. The food was awful early on. [...] If you didn’t like a meal, you literally had nothing to eat. So guys were eating protein bars, brought in peanut butter and jelly, like, ‘Yo, I can’t do this.”
As usual, Dudley always makes for an entertaining listen. So should you find the time, check out the rest of his hour-long interview here.