Los Angeles Lakers reserve forward Jared Dudley indicated that he and his teammates were shockingly amused as they watched the Los Angeles Clippers blow a 3-1 advantage in the Western Conference semifinals to the Denver Nuggets.
Dudley appeared Wednesday on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” and spoke about how the Lakers were eagerly anticipating and expecting a conference finals matchup against their co-tenants in the Staples Center.
Instead, the Nuggets made their second consecutive comeback from a 3-1 playoff deficit, but then lost in five games to the Lakers.
“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 also spoke about how the unique circumstances of playing within the bubble negatively impacted the Clippers.
“Those boys, they didn’t want to be in the bubble,” Dudley said. “They didn’t want to be there. And I don’t blame them for certain times, but the world needed to see the Clippers and Lakers, and it was unfortunate that we didn’t get to see that.”
The Lakers used the momentum built up by a trio of 4-1 playoff victories to then knock off the Heat in the finals in six games.
That victory gave the Lakers their 12th title since coming to Los Angeles in 1960 and tied the Boston Celtics at 17 for titles for one franchise.
The 35-year-old Dudley is not signed for next season and given his modest numbers, he’ll likely only receive a minimum deal. Whether or not that’s with the Lakers is unknown, but if his career has come to an end, he’s leaving as part of a championship squad.