After scoring 36 points in his game against the Cavs today, Paul George was in a forgiving mood to Jared Dudley in the postgame presser.
Dudley had aimed some huge shots at the Clippers star in his new book. Called ‘Inside the NBA Bubble: A Championship Season under Quarantine’, Dudley wrote it undoubtedly to boost his profile. In order to do so, he laid out some ‘secrets’ that we crave from pro sportspersons in books.
Dudley’s book didn’t disappoint on any front. But most importantly, his description of the Lakers’ rivalry with the Clippers will raise the most eyebrows. He took real shots at Paul George, saying the Clippers forward is not on the same level as ‘champions’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
George undoubtedly played like he had a point to prove tonight. He made that clear in the post-game presser as well.
Paul George replies to Jared Dudley in post-game press conference
The 30-year-old was seemingly forgiving of Dudley on the surface. His statement was about as noncommittal as you can get while also getting a reply in:
“God bless you Jared Dudley. I don’t know what it is, dudes love throwing my name in stuff. But God bless you, Jared.”
Paul George: “God bless you Jared Dudley. I don’t know what it is, dudes love throwing my name in stuff. But God bless you, Jared.”
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) February 4, 2021
What Paul George did here, taking the high road, is exactly what one would advise a star to do. Dudley is out of the league today, and has been for 3 seasons now. Even though he’s got a contract, he’ll never see significant NBA minutes in the future of his career.
Dudley might sound a whole lot like a tough guy according to his teammates, and be important for their ‘chemistry’. But all he is as a player is a victory cigar – either for his Lakers, or for opponents. Talking down to a player like this, as Ben Simmons did in the 2019 playoffs, is not much of a consolation. George is doing what Simmons did – answer with his play on the court.