Dudley, O'Neal Share Thoughts On Boston Marathon

Jared Dudley and Jermaine O'Neal both have personal ties to Boston and felt the impact of the Boston Marathon explosions.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
Just prior to the tip off of Wednesday night’s Suns home finale against the Houston Rockets, the team asked for and received a moment of silence for the victims of the two explosions that took place the same day at the Boston Marathon.

That silence probably seemed a little heavier for Jared Dudley and Jermaine O’Neal, the two Suns who have the deepest ties to the city of Boston.

Dudley played in the city for four seasons while he competed collegiately at Boston College, and O’Neal played there the two previous seasons before coming to Phoenix.

Neither one could really fathom what happened at the marathon on this Patriots’ Day.

“To have it happen, not only in the U.S., but on a day when people are gathered to celebrate an event and a historic city, is really tough,” O’Neal said.

During his daily routine on a game day, Dudley noticed the news before coming into the US Airways center. He quickly sent a few texts, but didn’t receive anything back until the game began. So as he was preparing to leave the arena, Dudley flipped through the messages on his phone after addressing a couple of reporters.

He received good news about the people he knew in Boston, but the entirety of the day was still affecting him.

“I was always around the marathon when I was there because it ran through Boston College,” Dudley said. “It’s a crazy scene, and it’s probably one of the best sporting events in the country and definitely one of the best marathons in the world.

“It’s just disheartening, what happened today.”

O’Neal recalled that the entire city would shut down during the marathon, and to get anywhere, he said, people had to alter their routes. He thought that on marathon day the city was being celebrated as much as the participants of the race.

“Boston is a fantastic city, a very passionate city, with a lot of roots,” the reserve center said. “You hate to see anything like that happen in general, especially when you think about the Boston Marathon as the mecca of marathons.

“People come from all over the world to enjoy the festivities and just the whole Boston environment.”

As each Suns player watched the television reports or flipped through pictures of the two explosions, neither one could fully understand what was going on. Both O’Neal and Dudley admitted the totality of the event, the impact it had on the lives of those involved and the impact on the marathon itself is a hard thing to summarize.

“I can’t even imagine the mass hysteria that was going on, just because there are so many people there,” O’Neal said. “I hope that the act of one person or group doesn’t alter the true value of what the Boston Marathon represents.”