Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram admitted that Kobe Bryant is his favorite player growing up and expressed his intention to learn the Mamba Mentality. In an exit interview, Ingram revealed that he will be receiving personal training from Kobe Bryant in the upcoming offseason.
Brandon Ingram failed to live up to expectations from a second overall pick. He went through ups and downs in his rookie season. Earlier this season, some people labeled him as a “draft bust”. Instead of being distracted, Ingram used it as a challenge to continue improving his game.
The 19-year-old small forward managed to show massive improvement and currently considered as an essential piece of the Lakers’ young core. Coach Luke Walton praised Ingram’s work ethic and believes in his potential to become an NBA superstar. Aside from their usual practice, Ingram works out on his own.
Brandon Ingram first hesitates to believe Kobe Bryant’s invitation
Brandon Ingram is a huge fan of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and desired to learn the “Mamba Mentality”. In February, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report revealed that Ingram received a text message from Bryant inviting him for a workout. However, the Lakers rookie didn’t believe it was really Bryant who texted him.
“Ingram has been longing all season for the chance to connect with Bryant, yearning to find out specifically ‘whatever he did his rookie year to get prepared’ and generally about that killer mentality that Ingram called ‘unreal.’ Ingram’s wish came true Wednesday when he got a text message from Bryant—’What up, youngin? It’s Kobe. Hit me up’—to open the door to what could be a wealth of information. Ingram initially didn’t believe it was really Kobe,” Ding wrote.
The 2015-16 NBA season marked the end of Bryant’s era in the purple and gold. However, Bryant still wants to be part of the Lakers and expressed his intention to help in the development of their young players. In an exit interview, Ingram revealed that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka suggested he works out with Kobe Bryant in the offseason.
Brandon Ingram sees himself as a court leader
Aside from working out with Bryant, Brandon Ingram also wants to bulk up in the offseason. His improvements this summer will determine if he’s ready to be the Lakers leader next season.
“I see myself as a leader on the basketball court,” Ingram said. “I’ve actually became more vocal on the basketball court. When the mentality and the focus is there, you kind of shock yourself a little bit.”
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/Lakers Film Room