New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram recently appeared on his teammate JJ Redick's podcast. The two touched on a number of topics, including Ingram's stint with the team that drafted him, the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 23-year old admitted that he's settled quite well playing with the Pelicans. On the flip side, the 6-foot-9 forward revealed that he felt way different while playing under the bright lights of Hollywood and with the most storied franchise in the NBA.
Via JJ Redick's Podcast, The Old Man and The Three:
“I definitely felt very uncomfortable. It was different. I didn’t know what I was stepping into actually. It was kind of like the world came when you were going to the Lakers. My social media started blowing up. I was into social media, but then I had to step into reality.”
“I go into my first game, everybody knows who I am around L.A. It was just totally different. It's different when it's Laker love. You know you can get soaked up into the game of basketball or you can get soaked up into everything else that is around it in Los Angeles. It was important for me to just focus on basketball.”
As you can hear at the 17:19 mark of the video above, Redick prefaced his question by saying that Ingram needed to transition from being a kid from a small town to playing one year in Duke and going to the most competitive league in the world. Ingram agreed that the transition was quite tough on him, entering the league at such a young age.
Brandon Ingram, who's often compared to Kevin Durant, didn't live up to the expectations of Lakers fans, who had high hopes for him as a second-overall pick at the 2016 NBA Draft. After three years in Los Angeles, including one with LeBron James, the Lakers traded Ingram to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for superstar Anthony Davis.
The move ended up benefiting Ingram's career, as he eventually broke out into an All-Star in his debut campaign with the Pels. And if Ingram's first week into the 2020-21 campaign is any indication – he was named Western Conference Player of the Week – last year's Most Improved Player looks primed for another big year ahead.