With the news that the Philadelphia 76ers have promised LSU’s Ben Simmons that they will draft him with the first overall pick, it appears to be a near certainty that Duke’s Brandon Ingram will end up being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Draft. Given the fact that the Lakers weren’t even sure if they would have a first-round pick prior to the lottery, walking away with a coveted young player like Ingram would be a big win for a franchise that badly needs to right the ship.
At 6’9″ with a 7’3″ wingspan and an effortless shooting stroke, Ingram exemplifies the modern NBA player. He will ideally be able to play three positions, and switch defensively in pick and roll situations, which will be a luxury for new Lakers coach Luke Walton.
Ingram also seems to have a good head on his shoulders, and his quiet, soft-spoken demeanor is occasionally betrayed by a mischevious smile. His dedication to the game has been noted since before Ingram turned heads at Kinston high school in North Carolina but he also seems comfortable enough in his own skin to have a little fun.
In a recent video for Draft Kings, Ingram took a little time off from his pre-draft training in New York to have some fun pranking people at Washington Square Park. In this day and age, when technology gives us access and information 24/7, it’s tough for athletes to blend in. It’s even more difficult when you happen to be a human being with the physical proportions of Brandon Ingram.
Even so, Ingram does his best to fool people into believing that he is a sketch artist. Most are surprised by his profession; one man even suggests that he should be a basketball player. Through it all, Ingram plays it off and pretends to know nothing about the game of basketball, until he reveals his artwork- and true identity- to the unsuspecting prank victims at the end.
The NBA Draft can be a tense, pressure-filed time. Players are anxious to see their dreams realized, teams are adjusting big boards and discussing trades, and agents burn through their wireless plans. With all that hustle and bustle, it’s nice to see a young prospect take the time to get out and enjoy himself a bit before the draft, and take advantage of the small measure of anonymity he has left.
Assuming Ingram is indeed drafted by the Lakers to play in the bright lights of Los Angeles, the days of him going unrecognized are definitely dwindling.