Jared Dudley Proclaims This Season Was Lakers’ Best Chance at Winning Title

Jonathan Sherman
4 Min Read

While fans across the NBA are mourning the potential loss of the 2019-20 season, Los Angeles Lakers fans are probably quite a bit more distraught.

The obvious reason why is because the Lakers were starting to really reveal themselves as championship favorites just before last month’s stoppage of play due to the novel coronavirus.

The Lakers likely have a championship window of a few more seasons, but veteran Jared Dudley thinks this season was their best chance of being named champions.

“I don’t care what anyone says, regular season games, they’re all not the same. Games October, November are different than March, going into April, before you shut it down in the playoffs to set the tone for how you are,” Dudley told Michael Lee of The Athletic. “So for us, you’re right, you think about next time. Even next year, there is no better time than us being five games up in this, everybody healthy. That’s one thing we’ve been good at, our health has been phenomenal this year. So you have that, with our defense. Yeah, you could be more talented, but just because you have more talent doesn’t mean you’re better. So, for us, I’m not going to say this is it.

“Even if we win the championship next year, that’s not saying this would not have been our best chance. This would have been our best chance to win, even if you go into the future. The optics and everything was set up. We’re going to have homecourt and we don’t know how it would’ve been. Milwaukee might lose a few more games. We might have caught them. Probably most likely not, but you just don’t know. The momentum we were carrying going into it, it’s hard to repeat that. You see LeBron James teams. He’s had teams that were No. 1. He’s also had teams that slipped up in the regular season and then caught wind in the playoffs. You don’t know next year, we may be the three seed. Yeah, we may beat these other teams in the playoffs, but it’s a lot easier when you have homecourt throughout.”

When the pause button was pressed on the NBA season, the Lakers had a five-and-a-half-game lead over the No. 2-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference.

Perhaps more importantly, the Lakers seemed to be getting stronger as the season progressed.

Propelled by the brilliance of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and inspired to honor the memory of late team legend Kobe Bryant, the 2019-20 season had the makings of being one to remember for the Lakers.

Sadly, it’s possible that fans will never know how the story was meant to end. It currently seems possible that the season will ultimately be entirely cancelled.

Hopefully, that unwanted option does not come to pass so that Dudley and the Lakers can put his claim to the test.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.