LeBron James Comes to Jared Dudley’s Defense After Wednesday’s Scuffle

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers may be tied for the NBA’s best record at 22-3, but some may have wondered if they are a little too finesse.

Enter Jared Dudley.

With 7:06 left in the fourth quarter of their game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, Dwight Howard got into a scuffle with a couple of Magic players. Dudley quickly came to Howard’s defense, earning himself an ejection in the process.

After the game, LeBron James complimented Dudley for being willing to take one for the team.

“I mean, that’s all it takes to get ejected? These days? Little shove?” James said after the game. “I’ve seen a lot more than that. But ‘Duds’ will do whatever. He told you guys at media day his job is to come in here if somebody goes crazy, do something crazy to me or AD [Anthony Davis] or whoever on the team, he’s going to be the muscle.”

Historically, the Lakers have been stereotyped as a soft, finesse team that wins with offense only. But the reality is, they’ve always had an enforcer who wasn’t afraid of mixing it up when needed.

In the 1980s, it was Kurt Rambis and Michael Cooper. During the Kobe Bryant era, Rick Fox, and later, Ron Artest embraced the responsibility of being the tough guy in L.A.

Although Dudley has gotten very little playing time thus far, his “take no prisoners” attitude should come in handy during the playoffs.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.