Brandon Ingram won the 2020 Most Improved Player Award in his first season with the New Orleans Pelicans. Ingram joined the Pelicans in 2019 on the back of a disappointing end to his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, and the 23-year-old got very real about it in a recent podcast appearance.
The Lakers used their #2 overall pick to select Brandon Ingram in the 2016 NBA Draft. However, the franchise traded him to New Orleans just when the Duke alum was posting impressive numbers.
Ingram could do nothing but move on, even though the Lakers’ decision was painful. The North Carolina native offered unprecedented insight about the trade deal when he appeared on JJ Redick’s podcast recently.
Brandon Ingram experienced living hell in his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers
Ingram averaged 18.3 points and shot nearly 50% from the field in his final year with the Lakers, but he had to endure a lot to get past the season.
The 6’7” forward was aware of the Lakers’ intentions to trade him even before the news became official, and it just made things worse. “I just felt like things were just not normal,” he told his teammate JJ Redick and co-host Tommy Alter on the podcast.
As always, the internet was filled with rumors when news about the Lakers’ interest in Anthony Davis broke out. The speculations wildly resonated with Ingram and a few others, and eventually, it turned out to be true.
It took a mental toll on Ingram and his teammates to live through the days before the trade actually happened. They kept living with the speculations on their minds and that they were indeed the scapegoats.
Ingram then credited his coach on the podcast for helping him endure the pain and fix a proper mindset to face the future.
“He kept me straight, and he kept me in the gym. Every day, every morning, he gave me a routine to win and everything, so I just dived into that,” Ingram mentioned.
Ingram admits he took out some of his frustration on teammates and coaches
Ingram had to get past a tough phase to become the player he is now. The Pelicans star was immensely bothered by the outside noise he was receiving.
Likewise, the other players involved in the trade package, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, were equally worried about their future with the team.
“I know other guys around me, it killed them every day. When you wake up and you see your name on Twitter, and the guys around me, they love Twitter,” Ingram mentioned.
But once they got to know about the decision, the trio comforted each other and began a new journey together. However, they had to suffer a lot before the trade happened and it was all about the tension that was building up.
For Ingram, it affected him a lot which in turn put down his performance and changed his demeanor too.
“That whole year I’m just yelling at teammates, I’m yelling at coaches, I was getting a little outside myself and I felt some faith-building up knowing you you get to the point where you build it up and you’re just gonna let everything out, like it’s just everything of the outside noise,” said Ingram about his final season with the Lakers.
ALSO READ- ‘Hung Up the Phone’- Brandon Ingram Makes Major Revelation About His Trade Away from Lakers
Brandon Ingram finally got out during the 2019 offseason and joined the New Orleans Pelicans along with Lonzo and Josh Hart. Ingram is now a much better player, and it can be said that being traded from Los Angeles prompted him to take the leap!
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