Ingram showed signs of being a special player during his three seasons in Los Angeles, but consistency and injuries continually derailed him. Just as Ingram seemed to be turning the corner during the 2018-19 NBA season, a blood clot was discovered in his shoulder and he was shut down for the remainder of the season.
Now completely healthy, Ingram has started the 2019-20 season on an absolute tear with his new team and perhaps that has to do with being away from the bright lights of Los Angeles. Ingram spoke with Mark Medina of USA Today and compared his new environment with that of the Lakers:
“I would say this is a better environment,” Ingram said. “There are a lot of genuine people here that are pretty solid. No shame to the Lakers because they are a high-class organization. They do everything well and have a good fan base. But I like this spot.”
Ingram has been absolutely excellent to start the season and everything the Lakers believed he could ultimately become. In the first four games, Ingram is averaging 27.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 50% from the field and 50% from the three-point line.
Ingram certainly didn’t mean anything disparaging towards the Lakers in his statement, but Los Angeles simply isn’t the right place for everyone. Ingram is a much more reserved person who doesn’t care for all the bright lights and attention that comes with being on the Lakers, not to mention any team with LeBron James.
Being in New Orleans is simply a better fit for Ingram and it has shown in his play. He has continued to work hard to develop his game without all of the pressure he had previously. The Pelicans are also on a much different timeline than the Lakers who are looking to win now.
There was never any doubt about Ingram’s potential, but the Lakers needed another All-Star player to win at this moment.
Ingram is showing the world what the Lakers saw in him when he was drafted and is now in a better place to realize that potential everyone knew he had.