Brandon Ingram, selected by the Lakers with the second pick in the NBA draft last month, is ready to begin summer league games in Las Vegas.
Ingram knows there is pressure building on him — Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak confirmed that by moving him into Kobe Bryant’s old locker — but the 18-year-old from Duke is tempering expectations, knowing that he will go through an adjustment period playing against stronger and more experienced competition.
“Of course [I have to] get accustomed to the physicality,” Ingram said at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo on Tuesday. “I think just going at every level it’s a different kind of physicality and a different kind of speed.”
There has been plenty of discussion about Ingram’s size, but the 6-foot-9, 190-pound forward said he would gain weight, even if it meant sticking to a diet plan — mostly protein — that was less than delicious.
“I think the protein shake is the worst part,” Ingram said, chuckling. “I know when I went to Duke I gained a lot of weight there, and just trusting these guys, I know I’m in a great organization, so just them helping me get the right food and doing everything in the weight room that I can.”
Ingram averaged 17.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his only season at Duke.
The Lakers are scheduled to open summer league play Friday against New Orleans.
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