The Lakers struck Gold
Number 14 for the Los Angeles Lakers shouldn’t need an introduction but for those who aren’t familiar with Mr. Brandon Ingram, he was the Lakers second overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. 90% of Lakers fans were on board with this decision because it’s obvious if Ingram works hard, he can be a star in the NBA.
From Questionable to Untouchable
The start of last season seemed to be a struggle for the 19yr old 6’9 rookie, who looked lost, shot poorly and often looked as if he was down on himself. As fans, we could see the potential but it was rising at a snail’s pace. From the missed dunks and open shots, to the turnovers and bad passes, one thing was positive…he looked very comfortable on defense.
Ingram would force an opponent to miss a shot, run the floor and get an easy layup to get himself started and by All Star break things started to look up. In March, he averaged 12.6 points per game and was shooting 50.6 percent, reminding fans why they were extremely happy with the pick back in June. He made more shots, he controlled the rock and he dared any player (including the now Finals MVP Kevin Durant) to shoot over him. For the season Ingram averaged 9.4 pts, 4 rebs and 2 assists. Although some people wanted more, this wasn’t bad for the North Carolina native that attended Duke University for one season. It finally started to look like the Lakers youngest player was coming around.
All summer long we have seen proof Ingram was in the gym, and his bosses did too. Magic Johnson took over the Lakers front office in March and by June was calling Ingram “untouchable”. I agree with Magic. Ingram has those qualities you just can’t teach a player. Length, hustle, athleticism, 7-foot-4 wingspan and a sharp reaction on defense. His natural ability to cut and slash to the basket is priceless and seeing players in the league respect him is a fan’s dream.
“First person I can say, that I can look at him & feel like I’m looking in the mirror”
Ingram’s silent takeover
For the past few months, the Lakers newly drafted point guard, Lonzo Ball, has taken over headlines but Game one of summer league showed us that may soon change. Ingram had 26 pts, 3 steals and 3 assists. His first 2 pts were explosive with a lob from Ball, after cutting to the basket. It’s not hard to see Ingram is going to demand so much attention from opponents. With the D’Angelo Russell trade and the drafting of Ball, Ingram had fallen out of the headlines. I think this season we see him take over this young Lakers team, and give Magic that leader he’s been trying to appoint.