– So the Lakers are doing their exit interviews. Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram. And some of the information is leaking out. Lonzo had his yesterday. Magic told him, kid, going to be the biggest summer of your life. Get stronger.
But just to show you the lack of patience, take Brandon Ingram. In year one, he averaged nine points. This year, year two, he averaged 16. He went from two assists to four, four rebounds to five, 40% field goal shooting to 47%, and 29% on threes to 39% with the same minutes mostly. These are 30% and 40% jumps.
Yet, if you turn on radio in Los Angeles, what do we do with Brandon Ingram. I’ve been guilty of this. His rookie year, he had two 20-plus games. He had eight times that this year, and the West was better.
If he makes one more jump from year two to three that’s as significant, he will be an All Star, averaging 22 and 1/2 points, seven rebounds, and seven and 1/2 assists and shoot close to 50%. Even just a 25% growth, he would be a really good 20 point a game player.
We all love Giannis. And he’s made jumps in five straight years. You got to be patient. There’s only one or two rookies a year that are ready, not just emotionally but physically, physically ready to dominate.
Kyle Kuzma, he’s 22. He’s a bigger, stronger athlete right now than Brandon Ingram. Brandon’s 20, Kyle’s 22, that’s two years in a college weight room. Ben Simmons, yes, he spent last year, his true rookie year, nutrition upgrades, working out with the Sixers, a pro basketball environment, weight training. Generally, most of these kids are not only not emotionally ready for the NBA, they’re not fully grown yet.
Brandon Ingram needs to put on about eight more pounds. And that’s what you can do with the Lakers staff and trainers. The Lakers process is working. It just doesn’t have a catchy name.
Colin, but Philadelphia, in the incredibly anemic East, has won 16 straight, 12 of them over tanking teams. The Lakers last 16 wins, Oklahoma City, Miami, Spurs twice, Nuggets, Cavs. Their process is working too.
They won 35 in the deepest Western Conference of my life with major injuries to Lonzo and Brandon. They also lost five overtime games. They were also, in the last 20 games with Lonzo, 13 and 7 against primarily Western teams.
They don’t have a player yet as good as Ben Simmons and may never in this rebuild. But their process is working too. Patience, take a deep breath.