Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram went straight from NBA Summer League to Team USA Training camp in Las Vegas, as a member of the USA Select Team, scrimmaging alongside some of the best in the NBA. After four days of practice and scrimmages, Ingram chatted about his experience in an interview with LakersNation.com. Check out the video above or our transcription below.
On his experience on the USA Select Team at Team USA Training camp:
Ingram: Just a learning experience, of course just being out here with all the great players in this league and being on the Select Team with a lot of great players, a good way to compete and learn from each and every guy out here.
On scrimmaging with Kevin Durant for the first time and how he thinks he did:
Ingram: It was surreal. My first time ever seeing him in person. I just know that I had to compete. Just gave me fuel to my fire, just to compete every single play and be with my teammates and try to get the win. I think I did pretty good. I think we were playing team basketball, and that’s mostly what USA basketball is about, that’s what I learned the most, just playing team basketball, just knowing that if the greatest players in the league can pass the ball and get open shots that we can too.
On if Durant was giving him advice:
Ingram: He definitely was. Just told me to be patient. Of course, he came into the league about the same size as me, told me to be patient about my weight, just keep going. Of course, if I keep on track, and I’m in a good organization, I can be a great player.
On hearing that Durant said it’s like looking in a mirror when he looks at Ingram:
Ingram: It’s a great compliment from one of the best players in this league right now. Like I said before, it gives me motivation. I just have to keep working hard to reach my potential and try to become one of the greatest players in this league.
On what it was like to be coached by Gregg Popovich and what his demeanor is like as a coach:
Ingram: He’s another great coach. Playing under Coach K and under my high school coaches, I’ve just been admired by a lot of great coaches and being under different coaches that helps me out a lot so just playing under him, seeing his different skillset, the way he’s a player’s coach, him telling us to move the ball. I think is exciting. He reminds me a lot of coach K. They’re very similar in the way they coach, and I really liked it.
On his relationship/chemistry with D’Angelo Russell:
Ingram: It’s been pretty good. When I got here, we always talked about chemistry. We’ve been going at it, we’ve been shooting together, and we’re just trying to get better. We know we have a season, and it’s going to be a process coming up but staying in the gym with each other I think is going to help us through anything.
On if there was added chemistry of having three Lakers on the USA Select Team:
Ingram: Absolutely. I think we passed the ball to each other more than others. Of course, great to be out here with these guys. Developing chemistry on the court but also off the court. Knowing that this upcoming season is going to be a long season, but we’re going to have to get through it.
On if he learned anything about Julius Randle or D’Angelo Russell over the past week:
Ingram: Just how self-driven they are. I think coming in here you can get starstruck and see who you’ve been playing against and some guys that you are going to be playing against but they just Took them like they were any other players and they were self-driven, and they went at em just like they were any other players.