In a not-so-subtle gesture, the Los Angeles Lakers gave Kobe Bryant’s old locker to incoming rookie Brandon Ingram.
The No. 2 overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft says he welcomes the pressure to become the franchise’s newest savior.
Brandon Ingram got Kobe's old locker. He says he welcomes that pressure.
Ivica Zubac is a huge Kobe fan: "(Ingram) can have the pressure."
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) July 5, 2016
Ingram, 18, practiced for the first time with the Lakers’ summer league team Tuesday.
Per the AP:
The 18-year-old rookie sees the daunting symbolism in literally taking the place of the most prolific scorer in franchise history, and he greets it with a smile.
“I did see where my locker was, and I definitely knew it was Kobe’s locker,” Ingram said. “(General manager) Mitch (Kupchak) told me I had some big shoes to fill when I came in here, but I liked it. I like the pressure that’s on me right now. Of course it’s going to motivate me to do good things on the court. It’s all good pressure for me.”
Ingram is already determined to build chemistry with Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and fellow No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell, the Lakers’ point guard. His primary goal is to become a more vocal player after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski impressed the importance of communication on him last season. […] “I was ready for this first practice,” Ingram said. “Just getting on the floor with those guys, and just seeing how he (Russell) wants to play, and of course how the coach wants to play. Connecting with those guys is really important to see what they want to do to be a contender in this league.”