Most Lakers fans derive from the legend shooting-guard Kobe Bryant who is now retired after a stellar career in which he made a living from proving his doubters wrong. They said he couldn’t win without former superstar center Shaquille O’Neal so Kobe Bryant got tired of being a side-kick to Shaquille O’Neal
and decided to show everyone he could win a championship as a number 1 option and undisputed franchise player. Now we arrive to the 2017-2018 season and the Lakers have two players which ceilings are unlimited and once they breakout titles will be on the way.
Those 2 players are Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, two young first round picks Magic Johnson is banking on to lead them back to the Showtime days. Not saying Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are the next Magic Johnson and James Worthy as those are two huge shoes to fill and live up to since those two won multiple titles and dominated the 80’s era before Michael Jordan took over 1991 after defeating Magic in the Finals. Larry Bird was unable to continue his career as back problems became a glaring issue leaving the NBA in Michael Jordan’s hands. Lonzo Ball up til now has somewhat struggled on the offensive end, he did have one breakout game in which he came close to a triple double with 29-11-9 against a young Phoenix Suns team showing what could be in the future.
Brandon Ingram is not a rookie but still has not filled into his frame and is still very young and still developing. Magic Johnson mentored Brandon Ingram over the summer to not shy away from contact when he drives resulting in a PPG average boost of 7 points. Brandon Ingram is averaging 16 ppg 5 rpg and 3 apg which is not a bad stat-line for a player of his age in his second season, players like Jimmy Butler,Kawhi Leonard, and Giannis Antetokoumpo took 2-3 years before they became stars and came into their owns. Brandon Ingram was impressive against Kevin Durant the player he is most compared to in which he scored 32 points and a very close game against the West juggernaut Golden State.
What the Lakers have is two players who play both sides of the ball, and have the potential to be their best at their respective positions. Both are play-makers,both play defense, both can shoot from the perimeter, and most of all want to be great despite the constant doubt. The NBA as of now belongs to Lebron James,Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry which most would agree are the league’s top 3 stars with Harden and Leonard following right behind, Lebron James’s free agency might diminish the Warriors’s possible dynasty and set young upcoming teams like the Lakers,Bucks,Sixers, and Celtics back a couple years before rings come their way.
For the next 2-3 years the Lakers should invest 100 percent into developing Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, they might not even need 2-3 years and could get all their seasoning in this very years and be ready for a NBA Finals surprise next season. As of now the Lakers sit at 10-15 but not far behind in a open Western Conference after the Golden State Warriors,Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs. What if the Lakers sneak into the playoffs at the 7th or 8th seed and push a team like Golden State to 6 games? You’ll never know, that type of experience can accelerate Ingram and Ball’s development and the Lakers have pieces to play with and money to spend to put the right pieces around their two cornerstones. Brandon Ingram could be a combination of Durant and Giannis and Lonzo Ball can be a combination of Jason Kidd and Stephen Curry, stay tuned.