The Los Angeles Lakers drafted a long, lanky forward with the second overall pick out of Duke in 2016 named Brandon Ingram. Because of his size and skillset, Ingram immediately drew comparisons to Kevin Durant, which isn’t really fair as Durant, a former MVP, is one of the best players in the league.
While Durant was able to have immediate success in the NBA, winning the 2007-08 NBA Rookie of the Year award, Ingram struggled a bit in his first season with the Lakers.
Despite the struggles, Ingram has still shown flashes of greatness and potential to become a perennial All-Star like Durant is. Durant recently commented on the comparisons of him and Ingram on a podcast with Bill Simmons of The Ringer, saying that he appreciates it and sees it as well:
“I appreciate it. Especially when it’s accurate. Somebody like Brandon Ingram feels like, it looks like he can play like me. We have similar builds.”
Durant went on to add that he’s generally not a fan of comparing young players to superstars though, as it puts too much pressure on the young player:
“But some of the times it’s alright to compare a guy to Meyers Leonard or Darren Collison when they come into the draft. It’s alright. Those guys are really good players and have made a lot of money. You don’t have to compare them to stars. The expectations, man, that can kill a player. You compare somebody to LeBron James when they’re coming out of high school or college, and you expect them to be LeBron James when they not really gonna be LeBron James. So start comparing these guys to some solid players once in a while.”
Ingram will look to make big strides in his second NBA season, as he showed huge improvements in his lone Summer League game, scoring 26 points.
Expectations will be high for the soon-to-be 20-year-old, as Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka recently said that he expects Ingram to be the team’s primary playmaker late in games this season.