The Los Angeles Lakers are currently looking to rebuild their once-great franchise, to lay a foundation that they can build a winner on. They have several young, talented players that could develop into something special, but none have arrived with as much fanfare as second overall pick Lonzo Ball.
This young man has a mountain of expectations being placed on him, but he has found an ally in second-year forward Brandon Ingram. Ingram shares a draft position with Ball, being selected second in the 2016 NBA Draft. His rookie campaign got off to a slow start, but by the end of the season, he was showing flashes of the potential that caused everyone to be so high on him at draft time.
Despite only being about seven weeks older than Ball, the experience that Ingram gained last season has given him a bit of wisdom that he can share, via Mark Medina of the Southern California News Group:
“Just with the year I have in this league, I can help him a little bit and tell him what to expect and how to go about the game,” Ingram said of Ball. “Now I have information I can give back with the opportunity to try to lead some of these guys, and put them in the right positions on the basketball floor and off the basketball floor.”
Ball, who will presumably be the Lakers starting point guard next season, will have a lot to learn, and on a team that is currently light on veterans, it could be an uphill battle. Having teammates like Ingram, however, can somewhat mitigate those concerns, even if Ingram doesn’t have anywhere near the experience to call upon that a true veteran mentor would.
There will be growing pains, but for a Lakers team that badly wants to attract an established star or two in free agency next summer, it will be important for Ball to adapt quickly to the NBA game.