Lakers Veteran Rips NBA: ‘This Is a Joke, Right?’

lebron james jared dudley

Getty Jared Dudley & LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite being the best team in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten no love when it comes to awards. Anthony Davis finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting and LeBron James finished second in MVP votes. The latest award a Laker lost was Rob Pelinka for Executive of the Year, who finished seventh in voting. The general manager was criticized for many of his moves in the offseason but the team he put together is clearly really good.

Lakers veteran Jared Dudley was not happy about Clippers president Lawrence Frank winning the award and detailed some of the strong moves Pelinka made.

The Clippers added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this offseason but that didn’t really work out for them. They lost in the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers have been a better team all year and much of that was thanks to the moves that Pelinka made. He’s the one who pulled off the trade for Davis and hired Frank Vogel. Plus, the Lakers are poised to win a championship.

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LeBron James & Anthony Davis Chime In

Davis was asked about Pelinka losing the award and had some high praise for the general manager.

“His willingness to talk to me and Bron and Coach Vogel about decisions and whatever else that we talk about – he includes us in a ton of things – I think that’s what a GM, an executive should do, include his top two guys and include his head coach,” Davis said.

At the end of the day, Davis knows that winning awards doesn’t matter much if your team is winning championships.

“I know, and the entire organization knows the work he’s put in to put this team together, to build this team to compete for a championship,” Davis said. “I know those awards don’t matter to him. Championships do. We’re putting ourselves in a position and he put our team in a position to be able to be one win away. Once we finish our job and do what we’re supposed to do, then I don’t think no one is going to care about Executive of the Year.”

“If that doesn’t get him that award, then so be it,” Davis continued. “It would just make it even more special to win it now that I know he came in seventh and got one first-place vote.”

LeBron was also asked about the award and he gave a pretty blunt response.

“You’d have to ask whoever voted,” LeBron said.

Frank Vogel Praises Pelinka

The decision to hire Vogel as head coach wasn’t universally loved when the news broke. However, it’s proven to be a very good hire and he’s done an excellent job coaching a team full of superstars and veterans. He praised Pelinka for the job he’s done.

“Everyone always wants to talk about collaboration but are not always willing to exhibit that type of collaboration. That’s what struck me first,” Vogel said. “I was very, very involved in every personnel decision, really every organizational decision that was made from the time I was hired. And it really has been a wonderful partnership between Rob and myself.”

Vogel credited Pelinka for creating a great collaborative nature within the organization.

“We set out to achieve for organizational togetherness, and I think Rob’s relationship with me from the start set a great tone for that,” Vogel said.

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