The Los Angeles Lakers have had a couple central themes since they came together for training camp, through preseason and now as they get ready for the regular season: Competition and communication. Veterans are obviously given more latitude for the latter, but Brandon Ingram says he feels comfortable speaking up if need be, too during a hilarious exchange with the media at practice.
“I think (LeBron’s) presence fits right in with our culture,” Ingram started out innocently enough. “Just having a voice to speak over everyone. Even the coaches. And I think Luke emulated that as soon as he got here, just trying to let everyone have a voice and trying to get opinions from different people.”
But does everyone get to talk to Luke like Rondo and LeBron do?
“I think so. I mean (laughs), wait, let me take that back. Um, not everyone ... I don’t think everybody would listen to Lance or something. He’s just too crazy.”
You have to watch the exchange in all its greatness. Fast-forward to the 2-minute mark.
Brandon Ingram discusses the impact of the team’s new veterans. pic.twitter.com/g75inYwhtl— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 16, 2018
Let’s try to draw this picture.
Luke Walton has everyone ready for a nice, productive film session.
Stephenson walks in with popcorn.
“Lance,” Luke says. “What did I tell you about popcorn in film sessions?”
“Fiiiiine,” Lance says, distraught as a he leaves the snack at the back of the room for later.
Walton: “Alright, guys. We have Portland Thursday and their arena is going to be a madh-...”
[sounds of someone struggling with a wrapper]
“Oh come on...”
“Fiiiiiiiine,” says Stephenson, as he puts his Sour Patch Kids with the popcorn for later.
“So coach,” LeBron starts. “I think we should really focus on forcing Nurkic to beat us.”
[to the tune of Missy Elliot’s “Work It”]
“Is it worth it? Jusuf Nurkic. Trap the PNR, then make ‘em reverse it.”
This obviously was a facetious scenario, but would you really put this past Stephenson, having seen some of the stuff he’s tried on a basketball court before? Even if you don’t think he’d do anything close to this, it’s objectively hilarious that Ingram immediately thought of Lance as the teammate who’s said enough crazy stuff that teammates might ignore it.
In all seriousness, it’s a great sign that Ingram feels comfortable speaking up. He’s a quiet guy, but if he comes into his own as a player and a leader, watch out.