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Will Jared Dudley step into the leadership vacuum in Phoenix?

Sep 7, 2012, 4:35 PM EDT

Jared Dudley Getty Images

Who is the locker room leader of the Phoenix Suns?

Steve Nash and his quiet leader role has gone to a rival (where he will play good cop to Kobe Bryant’s bad cop). Veteran Grant Hill has gone to Los Angeles as well, just to the team in red and white. Much of the roster has turned over as the Suns start to rebuild.

Is Jared Dudley the Suns new leader? It’s not an appointed position, but he seems to have stepped up in workouts as players start to show up to the Suns facilities in advance of training camp, according to the Suns team Web site.

“Being a leader is natural to me,” Dudley said. “Sometimes you can do it different ways. For me I want to be a voice and consummate professional, be in the weight room and stay after practice. When things go wrong, that’s when you show your leadership. It’s easy to be a leader when things are going well.”

Well, better Dudley than Michael Beasley as the leader.

Part of being a leader — being positive. Even when everyone around you may not be.

“We’ve lost a lot of pieces, but we have a lot of talent,” Dudley said. “It’s going to be [Coach Gentry’s] job, with the help of myself and other key veterans, to help mesh it all together. That’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to bring a positive energy and be a guy to help people fit into their roles. That’s the key to the NBA, everybody finding their roles.”

I’ll admit my bias — I like Dudley. I want this to work out for him. He averaged 12 points a game last year and he’s going to need to do more, but without the advantage of Steve Nash setting him up for a few easy ones.

  1. khadeemw - Sep 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Sorry to break it to you, but Jared Dudley is pretty average. Steve Nash made him look slightly above average. Hes a spot up shooter that plays hard. Thats about it. He isnt a top 20 small forward. He isnt a legitimate starter on a playoff team. Michael Beasley has his problems but he is definitely better than Jared Dudley. On a team with a coach that has open mind and will use players to their strengths Beasley has chance. Jared Dudley has maximized his potential in my opinion.

  2. phaden27 - Sep 7, 2012 at 8:57 PM


  3. sunsation3413 - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    I don’t disagree that Dudley isn’t naturally talented but he works hard and plays with passion. Just because he’s not a top player in the league doesn’t mean he cant be a leader. No matter who’s leading, this years Suns are destined to be a big time bottom feeder this year.

  4. dolphinatic - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Yes, he will step into it. Unfortunately that vacuum will suck him in feet first, like quicksand. Leader? He is just not that kind of player. Don’t get me wrong he doesn’t suck, but he’s no “go too guy” either.

  5. 00maltliquor - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Well……..gotta love the attitude.

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