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Brandon Ingram’s struggles are pretty well-covered territory at this point and it seems no one is more aware of that than Ingram, himself. In two separate lengthy pieces (one for Yahoo, another for ESPN), Ingram voiced his frustration at the way he’s been playing for the majority of his career.
In Michael Lee’s piece for Yahoo, Ingram mentioned the need to unleash more of the beast on the court versus his more quiet, humble nature. This is easier said than done, as those he competes against are trying to do the same, but have a little more muscle by which to do so than his wiry frame allows.
The result has all too often been forced drives in which defenses bounce him around like the world’s skinniest pinball, leading to off-balance shots that typically need to be bailed out by a whistle.
Social media hasn’t been all too kind to Ingram, but his former coach and mentor Jerry Stackhouse had some advice for Ingram on how to manage that.
“My thing, was just, ‘You’re from Kinston. We ain’t never had no problem getting no buckets,’ ” Stackhouse told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview. “I’m like, ‘Stop thinking about it. Clear your mind, go play basketball, do what you’ve done before. Stay off that social media stuff, stop reading that [expletive], and you’ll be good.’ These kids are dealing with a lot at 20. Getting used to having a pocket full of money when you ain’t never had none. He’s on social media, reading all the nonsense that comes with this job. … What if they had that in ’95? I’m glad I ain’t playing now.”
Again, it’s easier said than done given how loud Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be, but Stack is right. The more Ingram pays attention to criticism, the harder he’ll push, and the harder he pushes, the more of those forced drives he’ll attempt.
The Lakers tip off the season tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s a good matchup for Ingram, as the JV team doesn’t present a lock-down defender at his position. So long as he lets the game come to him, he could start the season on the positive. We’re all pulling for him, that’s for sure.