There have been a lot of questions surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers ever since LeBron James signed with the team in free agency. One of the most prevalent has been who will be the second star after James. Throughout preseason, the obvious answer was Brandon Ingram.
Ever since he entered the league, Ingram has been viewed as someone with a ton of potential. His second season saw him really begin to realize some of it as he made major leaps from his rookie year, and now he is hoping to do the same in year three.
If he is able to make that jump it will be due in some part to the amount of pressure Ingram has put on himself. In fact, Ingram recently admitted to Bleacher Report’s Mirin Fader that he doesn’t believe he’s played to his ability and that he’s never been comfortable on an NBA floor:
“In the two years that I’ve been in the NBA, I don’t think I’ve played to my ability,” Ingram says. As he speaks, he sounds like someone much older. He takes his time with each sentence, as if making sure each syllable counts. His voice is barely audible, but there’s excitement in it, as if he knows he is a man in the middle of a metamorphosis: not quite caterpillar, not quite butterfly. “Even just me being comfortable and playing my game,” he adds. “I don’t think I’ve ever been on the floor, comfortable.”
Ingram believing he hasn’t quite played to his ability yet shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. He is still only 21 years old and was bound to struggle with his lack of physical development. But there have been times where Ingram has looked like a future star in the league as well, so for him to never feel comfortable yet is jarring.
This just goes to show what Ingram expects of himself. While many on the outside have plenty to say about him, clearly no one is harder on Ingram than he is and now all of that work and pressure looks ready to be paid off as Ingram enters his third season.
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