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Jared Dudley retiring, will join Mavericks as assistant coach

Jared Dudley in Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Jared Dudley #3 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after scoring three in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 2, 2012 in New York City. 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. The Knicks defeated the Suns 106-99. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Jared Dudley is SO outspoken.

He takes fans behind the scenes. He talks very, very, very, very candidly about opponents, including former teammates. He makes predictions about where stars will sign. He explains union issues.

Dudley drew an audience by playing 14 years in the NBA – mostly in two stints with the Suns but also for Charlotte, the Clippers, Bucks, Wizards, Nets and Lakers.

Now, it appears the playing chapter of his career is closing.

Marc Stein:

Dudley confirmed that he is stepping away to become a coach in Dallas.

Dudley peaked averaging double-digit points per game three straight years for Phoenix in the early 2010s. He was ahead of the curve as a stretch four. Though not quick, the 6-foot-6 Dudley had the basketball intelligence and toughness to defend effectively. His 3-point shooting was a weapon as a power forward.

In addition to his solid play, Dudley lasted so long in the league due to his professionalism. He became a respected veteran voice in the locker room and won a title with the Lakers last year.

Now 36, he had become even more of a 3-point specialist as athleticism declined. Los Angeles has apparently moved on, and Dudley clearly hasn’t found a team to sign with in free agency.

The Mavericks just hired Lakers assistant Jason Kidd as head coach, giving Dudley a connection to Dallas.