Last season marked the end of an era for the Los Angeles Lakers, as after 20 seasons in the purple and gold Kobe Bryant decided to call it a career.
With the legend no longer on the team, the focus shifted to the development of the team’s young core this season under first-year head coach Luke Walton. The first step in that was drafting forward Brandon Ingram out of Duke with the No. 2 overall pick.
Everyone in the organization immediately saw star potential in Ingram, and he was even given Bryant’s old locker in the locker room as a sort of symbolic way of turning over the franchise to Ingram.
It has been an up and down rookie season for Ingram, who has demonstrated that star potential. At just 19-years-old he obviously still has a long way to go, but he has already made strides since the start of the season.
Since his retirement, Bryant has not been around the Lakers at all, as after 20 seasons of dedicating his life to the sport he loves, it is natural for him to want to get away from it for at least a little while.
But Bryant must see the potential in the Lakers young rookie Ingram, as he recently contacted him to workout, something that is a dream of Ingram’s, via Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report:
Ingram has been longing all season for the chance to connect with Bryant, yearning to find out specifically “whatever he did his rookie year to get prepared” and generally about that killer mentality that Ingram called “unreal.”
Ingram’s wish came true Wednesday when he got a text message from Bryant—”What up, youngin? It’s Kobe. Hit me up”—to open the door to what could be a wealth of information. Ingram initially didn’t believe it was really Kobe.
Bryant has been a big fan of Ingram’s since he watched him play in the Sweet 16 in Anaheim last March when Ingram was at Duke.
Ingram also recently called Bryant his favorite player growing up, so having a chance to workout with his childhood idol will not only be a dream come true for Ingram, but it will also be greatly beneficial as Bryant was known to be the hardest worker in the league during his career and surely has a ton of knowledge to instill in the rookie.