Jared Dudley Says '13-14 Clippers Were 'Toxic'; Talks Blake Griffin Relationship

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 30, 2019

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 11: Jared Dudley #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before the game against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center on December 11, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. The Lakers defeated the Magic 96 to 87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
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Jared Dudley was asked by The Athletic's Bill Oram to name his least favorite teammate ever, and the Los Angeles Lakers veteran forward did not skirt the question.

"I don't get along with Blake Griffin now," Dudley bluntly responded, before delving further into the lone season he spent with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013-14: 

"When I was with him I didn’t have a bad relationship with him. That team was the most toxic team. It was weird because it was a bipolar type team. We were somewhat cool off the floor; we weren’t cool on the floor.

"I just don’t like his personality and attitude. I think he’s a great basketball player and I think you can differentiate the two. It’s easy to be the greatest teammate when you’re winning. How about when you’re losing? How about when you’re down 20? And that’s the biggest thing with that team. It was the biggest front-running team. You’re up 20, everything’s good, throwing lobs. Down 20, people want to fight, bickering. I don’t want to say my least favorite … That’s a teammate right now that I don’t talk (to), don’t get along (with), words aren’t exchanged on the court, yada yada."

The Clippers finished 57-25 that year but were ousted in the Western Conference semifinals by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Griffin was the team's leading scorer, while Dudley averaged 6.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in 23.4 minutes across 74 games (43 starts).

Dudley signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2014-15 campaign and made stops with the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns and Brooklyn Nets before landing back in L.A. with the Lakers on a one-year contract.

Griffin was eventually traded to the Detroit Pistons in January 2018. After leaving the Clippers, the 2009 No. 1 overall pick spoke on his relationship with former teammate Chris Paul:

First Things First @FTFonFS1

"You know what you're getting every night with @CP3, he wants to win at all costs...and like all good players, he demands a lot out of his teammates." — @blakegriffin23 https://t.co/HdPeKVKjyy

When Griffin was sued for palimony by Brynn Cameron, the mother of his two children, in February 2018, details of his strained relationship with Paul were revealed (h/t Emma Baccellieri for Deadspin):

"In addition to raising their son, Griffin continued to rely on Cameron for advice regarding his career. Griffin spoke with Cameron following games to discuss his performance and team dynamics, including his mounting tension with Chris Paul. The Clippers had been Griffin's team since he was drafted and he felt like it was not longer his team."

The lawsuit also outlined that "Griffin struggled to be viewed as a leader for the Clippers while Chris Paul was such a vocal presence in the locker room and the media."

Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets in June 2017, where he played through last season before being traded this summer to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook

Dudley seems to be pleased with where his career has taken him since that disappointing Clippers season. 

"I wanted to come to the Lakers because this not only benefits me this year to win a championship but long-term," the 34-year-old told Oram. "Media, dealing with you guys. If I try to become a head coach or a (general manager), I've now played with LeBron, I've been on a championship-caliber team. It helps my whole resume going forward."

In the short term, Dudley is averaging 1.5 points and 0.9 rebounds in 7.8 minutes across 23 games (one start) this season as a veteran reserve for the Western Conference-leading 26-7 Lakers.

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