Brandon Ingram entered the year with expectations that were probably unrealistic given his age and, well, honestly, people stink at setting realistic expectations.
As the offseason is upon him, he doesn’t seem all that bothered by the expectations from a year ago. He’s looking forward, and wants to improve on and off the court.
Ingram finished his rookie campaign having averaged just over nine points, four rebounds and a couple assists per game. Those numbers are hampered a bit by the first half of the year, but overall, most expected a little more production.
As per usual, though, counting stats tell only part of the story. The Lakers don’t have much to complain about with Ingram. Unlike Ben Simmons, Ingram played in all but just four games on the year, averaging almost 29 minutes a night. As the year went along, he got undeniably better. And at no point did he complain about anything the team asked him to do.
Those small things matter.
On the night the season ended, he kept saying the right things. First, via the L.A. Times’ Tania Ganguli:
Brandon Ingram said he looked past his rookie season in setting personal expectations. So how does his future look? pic.twitter.com/IEBbBcbkSW— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) April 13, 2017
Then, via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation:
Brandon Ingram: "I definitely want to go into this offseason attacking all my weaknesses.”— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) April 13, 2017
So for those keeping track at home, Ingram is going to come back next year a leader having fixed all his weaknesses. That sounds good.
Ingram’s heart is in the right place here. One would imagine this season was certainly a rollercoaster for him as much as anyone, and being the competitor he is, it would be kind of weird if he didn’t say these things.
We’ll see how all this plays out, but this is a good place to start.