Brandon Ingram Praised For Leadership With New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The New Orleans Pelicans have been one of the worst teams in the NBA thus far in the 2021-22 season. They are 7-18 despite winning four of their last five games. Losing is never an easy thing for professional players to handle, especially when you are doing it as often as the Pelicans are.

When you lose that frequently it can begin impacting the entire team. Guys won’t practice as hard or will start deviating from the game plan hoping to improve their own situation. Despite the situation they are in, that has not yet occurred to the Pelicans.

New Orleans knows there are brighter days ahead as they are patiently waiting for the return of Zion Williamson to the lineup. Williamson has yet to play this season as he recovers from a fractured bone in his foot.

Without him, a lot of the heavy lifting has been done by Brandon Ingram. Unfortunately, Ingram has dealt with a hip injury of his own that cost him seven games. While he has returned to the court, his production has not yet reached the same level.

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Since his return from the injury, Ingram has averaged 19.2 points per game, making only 40.1 percent of his shot attempts and 29.3 percent of his 3-point attempts. That is a drastic drop off from the 25 points on 46.5 percent overall and 45.5 percent from 3-point land he was shooting prior to the injury.

Despite his struggles, Ingram shows up every day and puts in the work to get better. It is something that rookie Herb Jones appreciates about Ingram, who has the third most NBA experience on the team despite there being seven players older than him.

“He never gets too high or too low. He just keeps working,” Jones said. “It’s basketball, so it won’t be all highs. I’m sure he knows that, of course. But the way he’s been a great teammate on the court and off the court, it’s unbelievable. Seeing him struggle and not produce how he wants to produce, he still shows up every day and can be the same dude.”

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As one of the longest-tenured players on the roster, Ingram knows that he is in a position of leadership. He can get on his teammates for not doing things a specific way, but instead, he seeks to empower them and build them up, not take them down.

“The message I give them is the message I give myself,” Ingram said. “As you continue to play the game, you learn different things. So not to be self-frustrated. You can look at the win-loss column every day and be like, ‘Man, (expletive) this. This isn’t going so well.’ But we continue to learn from each game and bring it to the next game.”

Only 24-years old, Brandon Ingram is wise beyond his years. He likely learned a lot from the one season that he spent with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers in his third season in the NBA and is now spreading that same wisdom to his younger New Orleans Pelicans teammates.