Brandon Ingram was a bright spot for the Lakers’ in their 133-109 blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and now Luke Walton wants him to become more of a leader on the court.
Ingram has vastly improved as the season has gone on and was even named rookie of the month for March. In his last nine games, he has averaged double-digit scoring and scored a team-high 21 against the Clippers. More impressive than just the points he is putting up, Ingram has become confident and is being aggressive.
In the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers Tuesday, Ingram was the only starter to show some ‘desire’ on the court and play with effort. In light of the rest of the starters having lackluster evenings, Walton has challenged Ingram to become more vocal with his teammates and learn to lead. Walton spoke to reporters after practice Wednesday on the matter.
“That’s more of a way to get Brandon to be more vocal, which he has slowly been getting,” Walton said. “Embrace more of a leadership role. As a way to kind of say, look, even if you’re playing good yourself, we need more out of you. We need you grabbing someone by the jersey. We need you lifting your teammates up.”
Because of Ingram’s progress, it looks like he will be a star soon. With that comes a greater responsibility. Point guard D’Angelo Russell has shown flashes of all-star potential but can never back them up with consistency. Therefore, the role of team leader seems to be up for grabs, and it looks like Luke wants Ingram to take it. The season is almost over, but there are enough games to determine if Ingram rises to the occasion. He is a soft-spoken player and may not be a natural leader, but Walton points out he has the right attitude and work ethic to learn how to lead.