Luke Walton looked to Andre Iguodala for guidance on Brandon Ingram
Despite young stud D’Angelo Russell having the upper hand, the torchbearer role for the storied franchise is still up for grabs, and Ingram, armed with a promising skill-set, owns a decent shot of ending up as the Lakers’ top dog in a few years time.
Head coach Luke Walton is aware of the situation, but isn’t throwing his promising rookie into the fire right away. By opting to have him come off the bench, Walton is protecting Ingram by allowing him to ease his way into the NBA game.
In this strategy, Walton sought help from his former player, Andre Iguodala, to provide Ingram with wisdom. The swingman out of Arizona is thriving in a winning situation with the Warriors after enjoying All-Star status in Philadelphia and a more prominent role in Denver.
“Andre is a one of the smarter players I’ve been around,” Walton said before the Lakers played host to the Warriors on Friday at Staples Center. “He cares about the game of basketball and he does things the right way. I felt that Brandon could learn a lot from him.”
“The NBA is a crazy world, especially when you’re as young as some of these young guys are,” Walton said. “It’s important to have relationships with some older vets that have been around.”
Iguodala welcomed the opportunity and shared his insight on what the Lakers have in their fold.
“‘Luke, I dreaded that,’” Iguodala said. “‘But I’ll give the guy some words of wisdom so he’ll play hard for you.’”
“I’m a fan of the kid. “It’s easy, especially when you’ve got a guy that’s willing to take some advice. You want the best for him,” Iguodala said. “Anybody else, I’m like ‘No man.’ I’m not giving (feedback) to these young kids these days. They don’t listen.”
So far, Brandon Ingram hasn’t averaged 2nd overall talent numbers, but the decent stats are neither head-scratchers. In 24 minutes per game, Ingram is logging 7.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists for Los Angeles.
Most importantly, he seems to have a good head above his shoulders.
“I’m still learning how I can affect the game in different ways,” Ingram said. “Offensively, I think it will become easier for me with coming into the lanes and picking my spots. But defensively, I’m doing really well.”