Carmelo Anthony Defends Jared Dudley, Says Fans Can't Blame Him for Being Signed First - Lakers Daily

Carmelo Anthony Defends Jared Dudley, Says Fans Can’t Blame Him for Being Signed First

Jared Dudley and Miles Bridges Jayne Kamin Oncea / USA TODAY Sports

When Jared Dudley signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2019 offseason, many fans reacted quite negatively.

They thought that there were other free agents who were more deserving of the roster spot, particularly former star Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony had remained unsigned for months before finally finding his home with the Portland Trail Blazers a few days ago. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, Anthony stated that Dudley did not deserve to be blamed for what he went through.

“Me and Dudley had some issues in the past, man, but I started feeling bad for him a little bit,” Anthony said. “I mean, not feeling bad, but it’s just like, ‘Leave that man alone.’ It’s not his fault. Teams that wanted him, they wanted a specific role, and that’s why they picked him up. I had to tell some guys to lay off. He wasn’t keeping a roster spot from me. That wasn’t the case. The [treatment] he received wasn’t right.”

There is no doubt that Anthony is a much better player than Dudley. After all, Anthony is one of the most prolific scorers in league history and will probably end up in the Hall of Fame in the future. But Dudley has shown how well he fits with this Lakers team.

Dudley may be averaging career lows in almost every stat, including minutes per game, but he has proven to be the quintessential role player and a positive locker room presence.