One of the major pieces of “news” to come out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ exit interviews was that Brandon Ingram was planning to work out with Kobe Bryant this summer. Ingram wants to make it happen, and so do Rob Pelinka and Luke Walton.
Part of the reason the Lakers want Ingram to work out with Bryant is probably because he never played with the legendary shooting guard, something D’Angelo Russell did do during his rookie season.
As for whether or not Russell plans to join Ingram in setting something up with Bryant, he told Drew Ruiz of Slam Magazine he plans to try.
“I’m going to definitely reach out to him. I just feel like there’s so many guys reaching out to him, tugging his way,” Russell said.
Russell isn’t wrong. Ingram is far from the only player to reportedly have interest in training with Bryant in Newport Beach, and several players (such as Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward) spent time working out with Bryant last summer.
The way Russell’s answer comes off is that he’d almost feel guilty taking up some of Bryant’s time, which is fair. The man is retired with a young family and a growing business, and probably can’t spend all his time working with the next generation of players like Russell.
Still, there would surely be value to be gained for Russell if he chose to commute down and spend some time with a legendary player like Bryant as he attempts to get into the best shape of his life and improve his intangible leadership qualities this summer. He should take advantage of his prior relationship with Bryant if the latter has time to impart some wisdom to him.
It will be interesting to see if he ends up working out with Bryant after he reaches out to him.