During his four-plus seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Jared Dudley has experienced the highest of highs (played in the 2010 Western Conference Finals) and the lowest of lows (currently playing on the worst team in the Western Conference).
Those range of experiences have made Dudley quite the expert on what intangibles elite teams have.
“They have players that know their roles and know exactly what they’re going to do each night,” Dudley told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Tuesday. “It’s the Nick Collisons, the Perkins, the Noahs, the Boshs, the Haslems, where hey you’re going to be the best screener on the floor tonight or you’re the guy getting all the loose balls.
“It’s an identity thing and something we’re trying to get to. It’s not just the stars, it’s knowing the system inside and out, offensively and defensively. And embracing your role.”
Dudley’s role has been an interesting point of contention of late. Long thought to be one of the team’s few on-court leaders, the former Boston College star has seen his minutes dwindle under interim head coach Lindsey Hunter.
Over his last 10 games, Dudley played only 24.5 minutes per contest. It’s a situation that was highlighted during Sunday’s 97-69 debacle against Oklahoma City, when the veteran guard appeared for only eight minutes.
“I definitely haven’t had conversations with Lindsey (about playing time),” said Dudley. To be honest with you, it’s like you have your boss and I have my boss. Whatever is called upon me, I try to do it to the best of my ability, whether it’s 10, 15 or 40 minutes.”
While Dudley admitted he would love to always be on the floor, the Suns guard said as a captain of the team he has to lead by example and accept changes as they come.
“As a captain and as a leader, just because you don’t get into a game you can’t pout,” said Dudley. “I mean it happens. You go through ups and downs. For me, you try to take it as a positive and work on it.”