Lakers want Brandon Ingram to work with Kobe Bryant this summer

Kobe Bryant (left) and Brandon Ingram
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Kobe Bryant knows what it was like to be a 19-year-old future star playing for the Lakers.

The Lakers’ front office wants Brandon Ingram to take advantage of that knowledge this summer. In Ingram’s exit interview Thursday, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka made that suggestion.

“Just saying what I should look for in this organization, how I should be in this organization,” Ingram said. “They definitely thought Kobe should be one of the people I should talk to just about how he felt at 19 years old, 20 years old being in this organization.”

Bryant attended Pelinka’s introductory news conference and also spoke at Shaquille O’Neal’s statue ceremony at Staples Center.


“The Lakers are my family,” Bryant said, when asked last month if those appearances were a sign he’ll be more involved with the team. “I’ll always be available for [owner] Jeanie [Buss] and the whole organization. They know I’m only a phone call away.”

Before the All-Star break, Bryant and Ingram communicated about possibly getting together.

“Kobe has been receptive to working with lots of players in the offseason,” Pelinka said. “He benefited so much because he was aggressively reaching out to the greats [in his own career].”

Lakers coach Luke Walton hopes when Ingram and Bryant meet, the benefit for Ingram will be both mental and physical. Walton hopes they can work together in a gym so Bryant can show Ingram some of the drills he spent countless hours perfecting.

“I can coach Brandon, [but] Brandon’s a much better basketball player than I was,” Walton said. “There’s certain players that need guidance from certain players. Brandon is one of those players. … He can learn a lot from someone like Kobe that’s been through it and has a certain kind of skill at a level that’s much higher than me or anyone on our staff had.”


Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli