Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton managed to have a 10-year playing career, but it wasn’t because he was a superstar player. Walton was obviously more talented than the general population, but for an NBA player, he didn’t have the potential that allows a player to get to the next level.
He and the Lakers front office believe rookie forward Brandon Ingram does have that type of talent, and it’s why they want him to work with Kobe Bryant this summer.
Walton said a reason they want Ingram to work w/Kobe is because he’s simply a much better player than Luke was. Ingram need a higher level.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 13, 2017
Luke basically said there are things that he and his staff can't coach Ingram that Kobe, on the court, would be able to (elite skills, etc)— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) April 13, 2017
Luke said Ingram hopes to learn from Kobe both from physical and mental components of the game— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 13, 2017
However, while the Lakers want Ingram to work with Bryant (whom he said he’s texted back and forth with), they aren’t going to force him, or any player, to do so.
Pelinka isn't aren’t big on mandating action. He wants to see guys challenge themselves.— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) April 13, 2017
He says he sees that hunger from the guys already
"Kobe has been receptive to working with lots of players in the offseason. He benefited so much...reaching out to the greats." Rob Pelinka— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) April 13, 2017
It sounds like Ingram wants to make those workouts happen, so it seems likely Tiny Dog and the Black Mamba will form a dynamic training duo this summer at a gym in Southern California.
All stats per NBA.com. and Basketball-Reference.com. All quotes transcribed via Periscope. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our thoughts on the season below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.