Jared Dudley steps into leadership role
Gone are veterans like Steve Nash and Grant Hill, leaving not only a void with talent, but also leadership.
Enter Jared Dudley, who is now the longest-tenured member of the team at three-and-a-half years.
A guest of Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Friday, the 27-year-old small forward said he's always thought of himself as a leader.
"But just a different type of leader," Dudley said of his time when Nash and Hill were around. "Steve is a positive guy, where he's always positive, high-fiving.
"I'm more of a vocal leader. During the timeouts I talk more than Steve and Grant. On the plan, on the bus, I'm just more talkative as a person."
Dudley said he'll have to change things some now that he's going to be looked at as the leader.
"Doing stuff the right way 100 percent of the time," Dudley said. "Come in to practice early. Grant Hill used to get to practice three hours before, I would get there an hour.
Dudley said he needs to make sure the young players look up to him the same way he did Hill and Nash, which would mean being a positive influence for players learning how to be NBA players.
"Not taking any shortcuts," he added. "Sometimes when you're a basketball player and you see people taking shortcuts you want to take a shortcut. I can't be that guy."
- Jared Dudley, Suns forward - Tuesday June 18Jared Dudley joins Doug and Wolf to talk NBA Finals.
- Jared Dudley, Suns' Forward - Tuesday June 11JD gives us his player's perspective on the NBA Finals.
- Brian Windhorst, NBA ESPN.com Writer - Friday June 7Brian Windhorst talks about Game 1 of the NBA Finals and what to expect from the rest of the series.
- Suns GM Ryan McDonough - Friday June 7The Suns GM talks about prospects Ben McLemore of Kansas and Victor Oladipo of Indiana.
- Eddie Johnson, Suns' TV Analyst - Thursday June 6EJ previews game 1 of the NBA Finals. Plus, what are his thoughts on George Karl's firing?