Jared Dudley dreams of becoming NBA head coach: ‘Some of us aren’t J.J. Redick and get to go right away’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers forward and current Dallas Mavericks assistant coach Jared Dudley shared his desire to become a head coach in the NBA some day, and he threw a little dig at Lakers head coach J.J. Redick in the process.

“I wanna head coach,” said Dudley. “That’s my dream and ambitions to be able to do that. … Some of us aren’t J.J. Redick and get to go right away.”

Dudley has been an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks for the past three seasons, and he helped Dallas reach the NBA Finals in the 2023-24 campaign.

Redick was named the Lakers new head coach this offseason, taking over for Darvin Ham. Los Angeles moved on from Ham after two seasons and two playoff appearances. During his time with the Lakers, Ham compiled a 90-74 record in the regular season and a 9-12 mark in the playoffs

A sharpshooter during his lengthy NBA career, Redick did not hold a coaching position in the NBA before he was named the Lakers head coach. Instead, Redick spent time as broadcaster and podcast host, sharing his love for the game of basketball in the media space.

Dudley actually spent the final two seasons of his NBA career with the Lakers, capturing a title with the franchise in the 2019-20 season. He only appeared in 57 games for Los Angeles over those two campaigns, but it may have helped him transition to being a head coach, as he was a veteran mentor on the bench.

While Dudley certainly poked fun at Redick getting a head coaching job right away, he also shared that not everyone’s path is the same in the coaching world.

”Sometimes you gotta put some of this, ‘I gotta be able to do two, three years and four, five years as an assistant – we all have different times,’” Dudley said. “My time will come later on.”

It’s nice to see that optimistic perspective from Dudley, and there’s no doubt that he’s gaining valuable knowledge by serving on an NBA staff, especially since Dallas has enjoyed some playoff success since he’s been there.

As a player, Dudley played from the 2007-08 season through the 2020-21 season after he was taken in the first round in the 2007 NBA Draft.

While he wasn’t a star, Dudley was a solid role player that shot 39.3 percent from beyond the arc during his career. He finished his playing days averaging 7.3 points 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

It will be interesting to see if Dudley is mentioned as a candidate for a head coaching position if some open up next offseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.