Brandon Ingram had a very interesting time during his three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers as the former No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Ingram showed flashes of greatness, but that was mixed with bouts of inconsistency and ineffectiveness, along with injuries that limited his time on the court.
The potential was always there however, which is why he was a centerpiece of the Anthony Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. So far, the returns have been great as Ingram has looked every part of the potential All-Star player many believe can become.
One thing that was never in doubt about Ingram was his work ethic and dedication. No one was harder on Ingram than himself and he recently spoke about that with Mirin Fader of Bleacher Report:
“I lost joy sometimes. I only lost my joy because I felt like I could do more on the basketball court. I felt like I could help a little bit more,” Ingram says. “I felt like I could have been a little more involved in the offense. I could have been used a little bit better.”
Ingram would continue saying that he felt like he just wasn’t himself sometimes:
“I went through a little mental depression. Going home to my apartment like, F–k, man. This isn’t me. I was trying to find myself,” he says. “I had moments where I really felt like, Damn, am I ever going to get out of this hole?”
Ingram was undoubtedly put in a difficult position as the No. 2 pick of the Lakers right after the retirement of Kobe Bryant. While early struggles are to be expected, he began showing signs of growth, but injuries often derailed his momentum. The addition of LeBron James in his third season completely changed his role forcing another major adjustment.
These things are difficult for any player to deal with, let alone under the bright lights and pressure the Lakers brings. Regardless, Ingram deserves credit for pushing through and shining in his new situation.
So far this season, Ingram is looking like a potential All-Star averaging 25.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 4.0 assists while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from the three-point line.
Sometimes a change of scenery is needed for players to reach their full potential and Ingram has seemed to find himself in New Orleans.