Los Angeles Lakers: Brandon Ingram Should Take Kobe Bryant Up On Workout Offer
The Los Angeles Lakers have one of the brighter futures in the NBA. They have a roster loaded with young talent. They have an excellent young mind at head coach in Luke Walton. The front office is under new management under Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. There is a good feel around the Lakers despite the lack of winning in recent seasons.
The Lakers haven’t qualified for the postseason since 2014, the longest playoff drought in franchise history. Yet there is a lot of positivity surrounding the franchise despite being in the midst of a rebuild.
The exit meetings left players excited for the future. Johnson and Pelinka laid out plans for each player individually and goals for the team as a whole. Larry Nance Jr. was one of the players that discussed his meeting, sharing the message that management gave him.
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D’Angelo Russell also spoke about his meeting. The team wants him to improve his consistency and body to be better conditioned. As the point guard, the Lakers need Russell to lead by example on and off the court and set the tone for his teammates.
Those are just two of the players the Lakers have high hopes for next season and in the future. Ivica Zubac‘s role was also discussed. Walton talked about how he wanted to see an aggressive Julius Randle near the end of the regular season.
Another player who will be under the microscope this offseason is Brandon Ingram. The Lakers have high hopes for the former Duke product. They used the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft on Ingram, and the early results weren’t great.
Ingram, to the surprise of no one, struggled at the beginning of his NBA career. Prior to the All-Star break, Ingram averaged only 8.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 27.7 minutes per game on 36.3 percent shooting from the field. But, like many of his fellow young teammates, Ingram picked things up after the All-Star break when the Lakers rested many of their veterans.
Ingram saw his minutes increase to 32.2 per game and his numbers skyrocketed. He averaged 13.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game on 47.5 percent shooting. The Lakers are hoping that he can build off those numbers and carry them over to his sophomore season.
Ingram will have to put in work this offseason if he wants to continue to develop. Playing for the Lakers, he has access to some perks that other players may not — one of them being Kobe Bryant. Bryant’s former agent, Rob Pelinka, is now the general manager of the team. Bryant will always be a part of Laker lore and is willing to help out the current group of players.
A few weeks ago Ingram talked about his plans for the offseason. He mentioned working out with Bryant as part of his plans. This is something he should definitely take advantage of, and it is something that Bryant is willing to do, but has not yet been set up.
“I don’t know, honestly. I’m always around,” Bryant said. “Guys call me all the time, even guys that are still playing in the playoffs. They reach out to me and ask for some advice on certain things or ask me to take a look at some things here and there. I’m always around. So if he wants to come (down) and work out, he has my cell obviously. I’m sure he’ll reach out at some point and come (down) to O.C. and we’ll get a workout in. It’s no problem.”
It should be no surprise that Bryant receives calls from players that want his help. Bryant was one of the most cerebral assassins in the history of the NBA, taking cues from the great Michael Jordan.
The killer instinct that Bryant had is not something that can be taught; it is something you either have or don’t have. But, there is plenty of advice that Bryant can share. Bryant had a 20-year career, so there is plenty that he can share with young players.
One of the biggest things that Bryant said a player needs to have is consistency. They have to be willing to put in the work during the offseason to reach their potential and develop a well-rounded game.
“It’s just consistency. That’s all it is, consistency. You don’t build an entire package of the game on one summer. You focus on one or two things throughout the summer,” Bryant said.
“You master those things. Then the following summer, you focus on another one or two things. Then the following summer, it’s another one or two things. Five years from now, you have a game that has no weaknesses in it. But it’s not done in one summer. It’s about having a five-year plan, a 10-year plan and understanding how to get there.”
If there is anyone that knows the success of developing a long-term plan it is Bryant. Bryant was able to beat opponents in a number of different ways and that is because he was one of the hardest workers in the league.
Bryant was a tireless worker as he wanted to become the very best. Not everyone will have the work ethic that Bryant does, but working out with him can only help. Ingram has a long way to go to reach his potential, but you can be sure he would reach it quicker working out with someone of Bryant’s caliber.
The Lakers have an unlimited amount of resources for young players. Bryant is a wealth of knowledge, as well as Magic Johnson. It is something that Ingram and his teammates should take full advantage of while they have the opportunity.