One-on-One with Jared Dudley
Suns.com hooked up with the newest members of the Suns, guard Jason Richardson and forward Jared Dudley, for exclusive phone interviews on Wednesday night. The two, who were acquired in a trade that sent Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary to Chalotte, were just sitting down to watch the Suns-Lakers game on ESPN from their hotel rooms in New Orleans, where their former Bobcats team is playing the Hornets.
The following is a transcript of the Q&A with Dudley, who is in his second pro season after being selected with the 22nd pick of the 2007 NBA Draft.
Suns.com: First things first; what is your reaction to the trade?
Dudley: Excitement. I’m going to the Phoenix Suns – one of the best teams in the Western Conference! They have star power. For me to come in and try to be one of the pieces, come of the bench and do all the little things.
Suns.com: Tell us how you found out about the trade.
Dudley: I was doing my normal thing, getting ready to start against the Hornets, taking my pre-game nap so I could get the early bus over to the arena and get some practice in when the general manager called and told me I had been traded with Jason Richardson to Phoenix for Boris Diaw and Raja Bell.
Suns.com: This is, of course, your first trade as an NBA player. Is it strange after spending the early portion of your career in Charlotte?
Dudley: It’s strange, but I couldn’t have picked a better team to go to. I’m from San Diego, so it's going to be nice going back to the West coast. I’m a "three" or a "four" player, like Boris Diaw. When you add in Jason Richardson and what this team already has, I’m excited.
Suns.com: What do you think about this group of players you're joining?
Dudley: Amar'e and Nash are perfect in the pick and roll – Stockton and Malone types. Shaq has won titles and demands a double-team, which makes things a lot easier. People know about Jason Richardson and know what he can do. They don’t know about me. I think Phoenix will be surprised about what I can bring to the table.
Suns.com: Were you a fan of any of the players on this team when you were growing up?
Dudley: I remember Grant Hill on the Magic and before that on the Pistons. Nash went from Dallas to Phoenix where he won back-to-back MVP awards. I was a huge fan of Shaq, especially when he was playing with Penny in Orlando. Stoudemire went from a lottery pick where people were passing on him to one of the best power forwards in the league. They have the star power. Now they can use some role players and that’s where I can help.
Suns.com: What can Phoenix fans expect from you?
Dudley: They can expect someone who is going to be really aggressive defensively, denying the other team the ball. I’ve had to guard Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. I’ve had to guard the best person on the opposing team. Offensively, I have a high basketball IQ, I look to get everyone involved, set screens, take charges, get steals; all of the little things. That’s what I’m going to try and bring to Phoenix.
Suns.com: Steve Kerr talked about your defense, as well. Is that something you pride yourself on?
Dudley: It’s something I pride myself on because in the NBA a lot of people are good offensively but you can set yourself apart on the defensive end. I can bring a lot of energy. I’ve started a few times this season, but I can also be a help to this team off the bench.
Suns.com: What are fans going to get with Jason Richardson?
Dudley: Excitement. You have someone who is explosive in the open court. If people like dunks, they’re going to love him. He’s going to dunk on people. He’s a shooting guard with unlimited range. Being on this team is only going to help him. With the Bobcats everyone was focusing on him coming off screens and he still scored 20 a game. And now, basically becoming a role player on this team, getting shots is going to be much easier for him.