When Luke Walton was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, he inherited a roster that while was comprised of intriguing young talent, lacked a definitive leader. Particularly one who was vocal.
Now, Walton is at the helm of a roster with not only vastly different expectations but clear-cut leaders as well. LeBron James and Rajon Rondo bring immense experience and a comfort with making sure their voice is heard on the floor.
“You Rajon Rondo talking every day. He never stops talking. LeBron never stops talking,” Brandon Ingram said. The young forward is considered by many to have the highest ceiling of the Lakers’ young core.
One area Walton has pushed Ingram to grow in is becoming more vocal. The mild-mannered forward is aware of that, and sees benefit to playing with James and Rondo.
“You know exactly where you’re supposed to be; it helps out a lot,” Ingram said of their ability to verbally make a presence felt. “It makes me stay on point. They continue you talk, you continue to listen. They’ve been here for so long, they’re championship-caliber guys. You want to listen. You want to learn, so it helps me out a lot.”
Though Rondo is renowned for the leadership he provides, the veteran point guard explained being vocal simply for the sake of doing so isn’t of any value. “A lot of people don’t talk because they don’t know what to say,” he said.
“If they don’t, it’s best to be quiet until you understand and catch up to speed with the guys who do know what they’re talking about. It’s a process.”
Ingram acknowledged not being the most comfortable in emulating his teammates, but added “sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zone a little bit.”