Jared Dudley: Lakers felt disrespected by Paul George last season
Jared Dudley is peeling back yet another layer of the Lakers-Clippers rivalry.
The Lakers veteran released a 41-page mini-book on Kindle this week to tell the story of his experience winning a championship with the team in the Orlando bubble. In the book, Dudley spoke on the rivalry with the Clippers and mentioned Paul George specifically as a player the Lakers had an issue with.
“We hear some of those guys talking about how they’re the team to beat in LA,” wrote Dudley, per Lakers reporter Harrison Faigen. “It’s fine if Kawhi [Leonard] 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 [Le]Bron [James] and AD [Anthony Davis],” Dudley went on. “This motivates us. When we see those guys around the compound, we don’t really kick it with them. The one exception of course is Markieff [Morris], whose twin brother, Marcus, is on the Clippers. This probably keeps tensions from boiling over.”
The 35-year-old Dudley, a former Clipper, also said that the Lakers felt slighted by seeing billboards of Leonard wearing a crown “in our city.” Of course, the highly-anticipated playoff matchup between the two sides never happened, as the Clippers lost in the second round to the Denver Nuggets.
There are definitely two sides to the coin here. In truth, George was actually more accomplished in the postseason than Davis was entering last year. He led a team (the Indiana Pacers in 2013 and 2014) to the conference finals as their undisputed No. 1 option. That is something that Davis still has yet to do. But on the other hand, George has quite the history of foot-in-mouth comments that effectively put a target on his team’s back. Thus, the Lakers are just an addition to a long laundry list of people George has rubbed the wrong way.