Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant’s post-retirement resume includes mentoring and passing on knowledge to some of the NBA’s up-and-coming stars. Bryant’s services are definitely in demand, as the 5-time champion surely has a lot of knowledge and advice to offer these young players on how to be more effective on the basketball court.
One player that would definitely benefit from the Mamba Mentorship program is the Lakers’ own budding star Brandon Ingram.
Reports of Kobe working out with superstars such as Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyle Kuzma, Luka Doncic, and even Candace Parker of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks surfaced this past summer. So why not help out a fellow Laker?
Ingram, in fact, may be the Lakers’ second most important player on the team right now behind LeBron James, as the best player in the world is now set to suit up for the purple and gold. Despite appearing in just 59 games, the 3rd year man out of Duke definitely made strides in his sophomore year, as he improved his numbers to 16.1 points on 47% field goal shooting, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists.
In addition to being the go-to-guy on offense, Ingram was also often tasked to defend the other team’s best players.
This past season, Ingram displayed his length and quickness to be more versatile on the offensive end, showcasing a variety of ways to put the ball in the basket. He showed a pretty consistent turnaround jumper, as he used his length to take advantage of much smaller defenders on the block. This, as everybody knows, is a signature Kobe Bryant shot.
As previously mentioned, Kobe was recently seen having a work out with the L.A. Sparks’ Candace Parker, which heavily emphasized on footwork down on the post. Ingram could definitely use a similar work out like this in order to get the little details and secrets that go into Bryant’s signature turnaround shot.
The 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player exhibited some of the best footwork in the history of the league, and his mastery of this skill certainly helped him pull off his lethal turnaround jumper. With this as an emerging part of Ingram’s game, getting the little know-hows from Bryant himself will help him take this facet of his game to the next level.
In December 2017, Ingram had shared Kobe Bryant’s personal message to him during the latter’s jersey retirement ceremony. One thing that Bryant emphasized on was work ethic, as per Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints.
Brandon Ingram on message from Kobe Bryant: “Just continue to work. I heard him say something about the journey & the process. The way I work is the way I’m going to come out & play.” #Lakers
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) December 19, 2017
Kobe’s work ethic was second to none. The Mamba Mentality was in full swing during the 2008 Olympics, as reported by Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report.
Bryant woke up early to practice. And other players soon followed suit, waking up early with Bryant, adjusting to his schedule.
Wade was the first player to join. “He met me in the gym at five, and then LeBron started showing up at five, and then they all started showing up at five. And then next thing you know, most of the guys were in the gym at five getting some work in,” Bryant says.
“Me and guys started getting up really early and coming in to join me in my workouts and staying late with me and shooting after, and that’s how I came to know the guys much better,” Bryant says.
Despite being just 21 years old, Ingram has shown that he is willing to put in the extra work. Footage of him working on his game and his body came up on social media this past summer. Getting that Mamba Mentality and spending time with Bryant in the gym will definitely help intensify Ingram’s mindset and mentality on getting better.
It may not be certain if the two have actually worked out in private as no reports have appeared on whether the two have actually done so. Nonetheless, Ingram should seek Bryant’s services, as this, in addition to LeBron’s full-time guidance, will definitely go a long way for young star’s career.