It had become clear over Ingram’s first two seasons in the league that he was at his best operating with the basketball in his hands.
Obviously, that all changes once James joined the team. While players like Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball were comfortable playing off the ball, it was a major adjustment for Ingram and it showed throughout the season. But in the end, it was a learning experience for the young player.
Ingram spoke with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated and pointed to taking advantage of any situation as one of the main things he learned playing with James:
Just learning what it takes to be great. Just taking advantage of different situations on how can I be effective off the basketball. Off the ball. On the ball. Playing different positions.
It may not have been the best fit possible, but it is important for Ingram’s growth to take something away from the experience and he did just that. The work that James puts in to be great is something that many young players can learn from. The best put in work at all times and no one personifies that more than James.
On the court, playing with James forced Ingram to learn new ways to be effective. Some players can only thrive in certain situations, but the greats know how to be great regardless of what is going on. When something isn’t working, there are other ways to make an impact on a game and Ingram is capable of doing that.
If Ingram isn’t scoring, he can still help his team win with his playmaking ability, rebounding, or defense and he is putting all of that together now that he is with the New Orleans Pelicans following the Anthony Davis trade.
Ingram has been the primary option for the Pelicans, averaging 25.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 31.7 minutes.
His experiences with the Lakers — and James — have greatly benefitted him in his new home.