Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram got ‘new lease on life’ after scary blood clot setback
Brandon Ingram’s tough deep vein thrombosis injury forced him to miss the latter part of the 2018-19 season, ending his third NBA campaign prematurely. His father Don witnessed the healing process and how tough it was for his son to digest, ultimately getting a new chance and a new lease on life with the New Orleans Pelicans after spending his first three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“It just gave him a new perspective on life, that you’re not going to always be playing this game. He had a new lease on life as to ‘What if?’” Ingram’s father, Don, told Michael Lee of The Athletic in a telephone interview. “We worked that out and recovered from it and now he’s back. Personally, I just look at it like, it’s his time.”
“Got to ask yourself, who do you want to be? What do you want to be in this league? And how are you going to do it?” he said. “My individual expectation was higher than anyone else’s. And I think, just because of that, I know it’s a process and I love the process of becoming.”
Ingram exceeded expectations, looking more than just his old self but a much-improved version of it. The 6-foot-9 wing is now averaging 25.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game — all career-highs for the Pelicans.
The 22-year-old recalled first hearing about his diagnosis and recanted his recovery process, ultimately giving him a new perspective to start with a clean slate in New Orleans.
“Wasn’t a panic. I was just like, ‘When is this going to go away? When is this going to feel better?’” said Ingram. “It was difficult. But I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason and it only kind of motivated me to do what I’m doing right now. To continue to do it and also just to take advantage of the time I had on the floor, because I know I don’t have it forever.”
Ingram seems determined to develop into the players he was thought to become after being drafted with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, now very much living up to the hype from four years ago.