The Washington Wizards are off to a hopeful start to the new NBA season with a 3-1 record, including Wednesday night’s last-second win against San Antonio. To help kick off the season, we caught up with one of the team’s newer faces: ten-year NBA veteran Jared Dudley.
The affable swingman spent his offseason exploring Washington, and after a hilarious interview on WJFK-FM’s Grant & Danny in September, was even labeled a local fan group’s new favorite Wizard. Here’s what Dudley told us about his new life in DC.
You were born in San Diego, went to college in Boston, and played professionally in Charlotte, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee. How does Washington compare to your past stops?
It’s definitely up top. Washington’s probably in my top three. Obviously, I love LA being from California, I loved Phoenix, and DC I’m loving right now. You guys have great weather, I didn’t know downtown had so much culture and a lot of restaurants that aren’t just chains. I live downtown so that’s been a cool little factor and then having kids, you have the museums, so it’s been a great experience here so far. We’ve done a lot.
You’ve been active on Twitter since you moved here looking for things to do and places to visit in DC. What have you been up to so far and what’s been the most fun for you here?
I’ve been doing a lot, man. I try to try a new restaurant every week. Went to a Nationals game, I went to the Building Museum with my kids. I’ve been to a couple indoor jumping areas with my kids. Movies, going up to the iPic in Bethesda. I’m a big movie guy. We try to do as much as we can in free time. I would love to catch a Redskin game. I went to a concert here and saw Kevin Hart. I try to embrace the city and do whatever it has to offer.
I also noticed you were on the hunt for restaurants to check out. What are your favorite spots so far?
For sushi I like SEI. I like The Source, I’ve tried Zentan, that’s a nice spot. We’ve tried different spots all over. Those three definitely stand out so far, but I got more to try, [so] I’m going to keep hitting my fans up and seeing what they recommend.
Any restaurants popular with the rest of the team?
I think a lot of guys like Joe’s. I’ve heard that before. I’ve heard Cafe Milano and, where else do guys go? Capital Grille.
If fans meet you in public, what’s the best way for them to strike up an actual conversation with you?
Just say my name, say “What’s up?” I’m always friendly. Even when I’m with my family and my kids I always say hello, so to me it’s really easy.
What’s your selfie policy?
I usually do it unless I’m with my little ones, and even when I’m with my little ones, [I’ll do it] if I got time. I treat myself like a fan. I know how it is, I was there once, so I’m going to do it 99 percent of the time, unless maybe I’m in a bad mood, I’m with my kids or something.
What are you most excited for about this coming season?
Healthy. Being healthy, being on a winning team that is looking to advance far in the playoffs. You don’t get that every year.
That’s a great question. They’re all at different stages in their career. When I played with [Chris Paul], he was already an all-star. Nash, he was an all-star but he was fading in his career, and John Wall has been now a two-time all-star with me playing with him. I think that you know at this point in time Chris Paul’s a little more mature when it comes to it, but John Wall has more up-side. So it’s really tough to say that right now. They’re all three really good in different aspects, but I’m glad I’m playing with John Wall.