Jared Dudley says Doc Rivers asked him to play with fractured knee
After spending last season with the Clippers, Jared Dudley was traded to the Bucks last summer and has been a valuable member of head coach Jason Kidd’s rotation. While the Clippers made the playoffs for the third year in a row, Dudley suffered through a disappointing season, one in which he was hampered by a troublesome knee injury.
Dudley initially believed tendinitis was the issue, but an x-ray later showed there was a small fracture. With the Clippers shorthanded, Rivers asked Dudley to play through the discomfort.
“I really couldn’t bend my knee 90 degrees so I had to deal with that for the first month or so Dudley said on Zach Lowe’s Grantland podcast via ESPN. I basically went to Doc Rivers and said, ‘Hey, I’ve never had to deal with this, I can’t bend my knee, all my shots are short, I can’t move laterally, I need to sit out.’ At that time Matt Barnes was out with a calf injury and J.J. Redick was out with a herniated disk and he said, ‘Hey, I need you to give me 10-15 games and when those guys come back, I’ll give you a rest.'”
The veteran also mentioned it was his understanding that after playing through the injury he would get a chance to return to Clippers this season healthy and with a clean slate. That obviously didn’t happen with the team sending him to Milwaukee in August.
At this point, the move has worked out well for Dudley. The 51% he’s shooting from the floor would be his career-high and the Bucks have surprised everyone with a 30-23 record at all-star break.