Brandon Ingram might look different next season after Luke Walton’s recent request
Despite only playing in his first year in the league, Brandon Ingram has a lot of expectations from the Los Angeles Lakers already. Luke Walton even sees him as a future leader of their young team and wants him to start turning into one as early as now.
When asked about his performance following their blowout loss to the L.A. Clippers, the 36-year-old head coach praised him for his solid game. However, Walton also pointed out, via Mark Medina of The Orange County Register, that his efforts were not enough as he did not push his teammates to do a better job.
“After scheduling practice on a previously scheduled day off on Wednesday, Walton called Ingram’s effort “awesome.” Walton added Ingram “busted his tail” and finished first in most of the team’s sprints. Though Ingram has allowed his work habits to speak louder than his soft words, Walton wants Ingram to raise his voice.”
“Even if you’re playing well yourself, we need more out of you. Grab someone by the jersey, lift your teammates up,” Walton said. “It was more his work ethic that allows him to be that guy. I don’t know how vocal he’s ever going to get. But we’re going to keep pushing him to keep seeing what we can get out of him with that side of the leadership role.”
Even with his slow start to the season, the 19-year-old Duke product has started to pick up his production especially with the additional playing time he’s getting. He now has averages of 9.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game while occasionally showing glimpses of his true potential during the course of the season.
With Walton understanding what Ingram needs to do to become a leader of the Lakers, he can guide and teach him how to become an effective presence. Once he starts becoming more vocal, it will be very beneficial to the team as what they currently lack is a young player who is not afraid to call out his teammates and bring out the best in them.