Prior to LeBron James and Anthony Davis joining the Los Angeles Lakers, it looked like Brandon Ingram was the future of the franchise. His first couple of years in the league weren’t overly impressive but he started to pick things up in his third season prior to getting injured. While Ingram was a star in college and there was a lot of hype surrounding him coming into the NBA, he wasn’t expecting the attention that a player gets when they join the Lakers.
In a recent appearance on J.J. Reddick’s podcast, Ingram detailed what it was like to join the most popular team in the NBA.
“It was different,” Ingram said. “I didn’t know what I was stepping into actually. It was kind of like the world came when you were going to the Lakers. My social media started blowing up. I was into social media, but then I had to step into reality. I go into my first game. Everybody knows who I am around L.A. It was just totally different. It’s different when it’s Laker love. Either you can get soaked up into the game of basketball, or you can get soaked up into everything that is around it in Los Angeles. It was important for me to just dive into basketball.”
Ingram has never been the type to seek attention so it was probably was always going to be an awkward fit in Los Angeles.
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Ingram Coming Into His Own
Ingram never got a chance to prove his potential with the Lakers but he did help them land Anthony Davis in a trade. It’s rare that trading a superstar works out but the Lakers and Pelicans probably wouldn’t go back and change the deal in hindsight.
Obviously, Davis is a top-five player in the NBA and helped lead the Lakers to a championship. Ingram isn’t in the same league as Davis yet but he’s been improving. He made his first All-Star game last season while averaging almost 24 points a game. He’s been off to a good start this season and looks like he’ll be a superstar in just a couple of years.
Pelicans Have Bright Future
Usually, when teams lose their best player who happens to be one of the best players in the NBA, they are bad for years. The Pelicans didn’t make the playoffs last season but they are obviously trending in the right direction. Ingram is already a star and only getting better.
They also have Zion Williamson who could be the face of the NBA in the next few years. New Orleans has a very young team but that might be a good thing. The Lakers are so stacked but LeBron James is turning 36. Their reign at the top might not last that long if they don’t land a young superstar to pair with Davis. By the time LeBron starts to slow down, a team like the Pelicans might be ready to make a run at a title.