Brandon Ingram speaks out on Lakers trade, playing with LeBron James
Brandon Ingram admits he wasn’t too deeply affected by the trade rumors that swirled for most of his 2018-19 season with the Los Angeles Lakers, along with the perspective of playing next to LeBron James in their lone season together. The New Orleans Pelicans leading scorer explained his thought process, which wound up working out in his favor.
“I just take stuff differently. Trade rumors, whatever, I always know it is a business,” said Ingram, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “To be in trade rumors, that means someone wants me in this league. I just continue to play hard. I have a routine that I meet every day. I know it was a process and I was going to get there. The process helped get me to where I wanted to be before the injury. I was on the up-and-up, I got hurt. But now I am in a good situation. Everything happens for a reason.
Ingram won’t say that he needed a trade to evolve, but he feels the opportunity gave him a chance to fully showcase his skills.
“I don’t know. I feel like God’s plan is God’s plan,” said Ingram. “I would be wrong to say I didn’t need it, because it happened for a reason. I wasn’t mad about it at all. … I just looked at it as another opportunity.”
His short-lived time with James gave him a completely different layer of playing for a team after spending two seasons developing with a young roster with relatively low expectations. Playing next to a superstar made him adjust to playing a different position, shifting to leave the small forward spot vacant for James.
“Just learning what it takes to be great,” said Ingram. “Just taking advantage of different situations on how can I be effective off the basketball. Off the ball. On the ball. Playing different positions.”
Ingram had evolved into a capable ballhandler and playmaker by his second season, but playing next to James involved playing off the ball more and developing his scoring instincts and play-finishing abilities while putting his isolation skills on hold — ones he can now show off with the Pelicans.