In his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Brandon Ingram is starting to resemble the kind of player the team hoped he'd become. The Duke product seems to be improving with every passing game and is quickly turning into the star attraction for the storied franchise.
After practice on Sunday, Ingram spoke to the media and talked about the advice Kobe Bryant has given him ahead of the future Hall of Famer's jersey retirement at the Staples Center on Monday.
“Staying in the moment,” Ingram said. “Staying in the moment. First thing he told me was about the defensive end. How I could be really good on that end.”
Ingram's numbers are up considerably from his rookie season in which some argued was a disappointment after he was taken second overall in the 2016 NBA Draft behind Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 20-year-old Ingram is averaging 16.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and 34.8 from the three-point line.
As well as heeding Bryant's advice, the second-year forward believes the five-time NBA champion is an inspiration for his generation and those to come.
“He's definitely an inspiration for our generation and many generations above me,” Ingram said of Bryant.
Bryant will have both No. 8 and No. 24 retired by the Lakers at halftime of the team's head-to-head matchup with the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18. It'll be the first time in league history, and a player has had two numbers retired by a team.
Following Bryant's jersey retirement, the next question for the Lakers franchise is when will he have a statue outside of the Staples Center. Bryant's longtime teammate Shaquille O'Neal had his statue revealed last year adding to the many legends of the team to be immortalized in bronze in front of the iconic arena in downtown Los Angeles.