There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft, but the expectations for Brandon Ingram in Los Angeles may even be higher than usual considering whose locker he’s taking over next season.
The 18-year-old forward out of Duke learned this week that he’ll be slotting into the stall of former Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who retired following the conclusion of last season.
Is he nervous about having to occupy the space formerly held by the face of the franchise and one of the game’s greatest offensive players? Ingram’s certainly not showing it, as he told ESPN’s Jovan Buha on Tuesday.
“I saw where my locker was, and I definitely knew it was Kobe’s locker,” Ingram said Tuesday at his introductory news conference at the Los Angeles Lakers’ training facility. “I know [general manager] Mitch [Kupchak] told me I had some big shoes to fill when I came in here, but I liked it. I like the pressure that’s on me right now. It’s going to motivate me to do good things on the court. It’s all good pressure for me.”
Nobody is expecting this kid to enter the league and immediately replace Kobe, but the Lakers and their fans have to be pleased with how their new star is handling himself. Ingram is saying all the right things and seems very willing to accept the pressure that comes with not only being a top pick, but being a top pick in a storied organization looking to rebuild.