The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off their worst season in franchise history. Although Kobe Bryant ended the season and his storied career on a high note with a 60-point performance at the Staples Center, the Lakers finished with an extremely disappointing record of 17-65.
Fortunately, in the aftermath of the 17-win season, the Lakers were able to secure the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. That pick turned out to be forward Brandon Ingram out of Duke. Ingram is considered to be one of two players in the draft, Ben Simmons being the other, that could potentially become a superstar in the NBA.
Duke and Team USA head coach, Mike Krzyzewski, recently talked about his former star forward and what he believes is a bright future for the Lakers rookie, via Lakers reporter Joey Ramirez:
“Brandon is very smart about people, about the game, and he’s a willing learner,” Krzyzewski said on the second day of USA training camp on Tuesday. “I’m telling you, he’s a no-maintenance guy. I love that kid. I think he’s going to be very special (in) some time.”
Ingram, who is currently a part of the USA Select Team with Lakers teammates Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell, talked about playing for Coach K last year at Duke. The 18-year-old has nothing but respect for the legendary Blue Devils coach and believes he learned a lot in his short time as Krzyzewski’s star player, via Ramirez:
“Playing one year under Coach K feels like you’ve played for three years,” Ingram said. “I learned so much from him; gained a lot of wisdom and knowledge from him.”
With all the high praise Ingram has received since being drafted by the Lakers, and finishing Summer League with a strong 22-point performance, the rookie seems to have a promising future in Los Angeles.
Ingram has the right mindset to go along with skills to be a force in the NBA, and will be a welcome addition alongside Russell, Randle, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.