New Orleans Pelicans‘ forward, Brandon Ingram, once a 2020 All-Star, had a transformative journey in the Big Easy, not always thriving as a scorer.
Standing tall at 6’8″, Ingram was handpicked as the second selection in the 2016 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, fresh from Duke University. His true potential took time to unfold, shaping him into the versatile, albeit slightly injury-prone, scorer with remarkable length and athleticism that he is today. While his promise was evident during his Lakers tenure, his full bloom came after he transitioned to his second team. In 2019, he became the centerpiece of a trade deal that brought eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis to the Lakers. This strategic move led to an immediate championship victory and another appearance in the Western Conference Finals alongside Davis.
“If I was with the Lakers, I would delete my social media,” Ingram said.
In a candid conversation with Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times, ostensibly centered on Ingram’s fellow Team USA member Austin Reaves, who currently represents the sole Lakers presence in this year’s FIBA World Cup squad, Ingram offered a unique perspective on his own experience with the intense media scrutiny in Los Angeles. This insight was nestled within a larger dialogue, yet it provides a compelling peek into Ingram’s emotions regarding the exhaustive analysis that comes with playing for the NBA’s high-profile franchise in one of its largest markets.
Since joining the Pelicans in 2019, Ingram’s performance has showcased an average of 23.7 points per game with shooting splits of .467/.375/.858. He consistently contributes 5.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game. However, he has also been absent from an average of 21.3 regular season matches each year. This statistic is noteworthy considering that the Pelicans, since acquiring Ingram, have made the playoffs only once. His defensive challenges and injury concerns have been the primary criticisms of his gameplay thus far. Nevertheless, his innate talent undeniably positions him as a potential standout in the league for years to come.