The Brooklyn Nets had their first real controversy, of sorts, this season, but Jared Dudley is blowing off a series of Kenneth Faried likes on Instagram.
Jac Manuell, an NBA writer for Nets Republic and several other sites, spotted a string of likes from Faried and posted them Sunday afternoon on Twitter.
One of them in particular drew a lot of interest, where Faried liked a post that referred to teammate Jared Dudley as a “bum” while calling for Faried to get more minutes.
Faried has traveled a fast track from starting power forward for the U.S. national team in 2014 to third-string center on a potential lottery team. His four-minute stint on Saturday against the Washington Wizards marked just the eighth game Faried has entered this season.
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He’s played a total of 45 minutes this season and has 15 DNP-CDs in 23 games on the Brooklyn’s active player. That comes after Faried took 40 DNP-CDs in 72 active games for the Denver Nuggets last season.
The Nets acquired Faried in a July trade from the Nuggets along with Darrell Arthur, a top-12 protected 2019 first-round pick and Denver’s 2020 second-round selection in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead as Brooklyn took on a pair of salary dumps to get future assets.
Arthur was then swapped to Phoenix in exchange for Dudley and a 2021 second-round pick that is protected from 31-35.
So, we get it. Faried is frustrated over his lack of playing time and did a little bit of passive-aggressive venting on social media.
For his part, Dudley says it’s a non-issue, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
Dudley told Scotto he has no plans to discuss the issue with Faried, saying:
"“Him liking something is something that I think that I’ve been in his position before. I’ve had 40-60 DNPs my last two years in Phoenix.“The only thing that you try to do is, the advice I always give not only to myself, but I give to others, is you always want to be professional and always want to do the right thing because your time will come.”"
Dudley called the whole affair “unfortunate” and admitted to “probably 100 different stupid things” he’s posted on social media early in his career.
The 12th-year pro from Boston College said he doesn’t think it’s an incident that will linger.
But there is a valuable piece of knowledge to take away from this, something that fans often forget when dealing with professional athletes. They’re people, just like us, and they have their frustrations, their faults and their foibles.
They have everyday concerns, families to consider — all of the same things we have to deal with on a daily basis — with the added “benefit” of constantly being under a microscope of scrutiny.
I mean, hey, I referred to Dudley in a piece I wrote over the weekend as “Grand Theft Minutes,” but that doesn’t mean I dislike Dudley, don’t appreciate what he does for the Nets or disrespect his NBA career as a whole.
It just means that my opinion is that the minutes he’s receiving of late could be better used in the development of rookie Rodions Kurucs. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters as it pertains to playing time for the Brooklyn Nets is coach Kenny Atkinson.
But fans love sports and they love their teams. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t care so much or follow so closely. It’s just important to remember that the players are also people first, as opposed to some abstraction that lives in a gymnasium and only comes out of its box for game nights.