You don’t need to be an NBA savant to pick up on the biggest worry many have about Los Angeles Lakes rookie Brandon Ingram. Just look at him: he is skinny.
At 6-foot-10, 196 pounds, Ingram is an unquestionably talented NBA prospect: he has the length and the touch to become a difference-maker. But he’s so gangly that many scouts worried leading up to the draft that if he can’t put on the weight, he might never become an effective pro.
If this all sounds like déjà vu, it’s because another lanky No. 2 pick went through a similar ringer before his NBA debut. Coming out of Texas is 2007, Kevin Durant faced similar scrutiny for being so scrawny.
Remember when the NBA world worried because Durant couldn’t bench 185 pounds?
Since Ingram arrived at Duke, and especially now that he’s in the NBA, he’s been compared to Durant several thousand times. So who better to ask about Ingram than Durant himself?
According to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver, Durant is a huge Ingram fan:
“He reminds me of myself. He’s a little farther along than I was at that stage. he’s with a great organisation that’s going to push him. … He’s a great player. I watched him almost every game this season. I’m a huge fan. The first person that I can say that I look at him and say I’m looking in the mirror. I’m rooting for him.”
Durant even went as far as to say that Ingram is more skilled coming out of college than he was. That’s high praise! From Durant (via Golliver):
“He’s a little more fluid than I was. As far as skill-wise, he’s still a little bit more advanced than I was at that time. I was just running, jumping, shooting threes. He can put the ball on the floor, change directions, get to the rim, pull-up threes. That stuff came a little bit later on for me.
And while scouts may be worried about Ingram’s ability to put on weight, Durant isn’t:
“Coming in, I was probably skinnier or just as skinny as he was. I’m still skinny. Once you get conditioned to the NBA game, the travel, the long season, it’s just basketball after that. I’m sure they have got weight trainers, chefs, all those people to make sure he’s eating right, lifting. For the most part, if you can play, you can play, and he knows how to play.”
Ingram is reportedly eating six meals a day — roughly 5,000 calories — to get his weight up. He’s never going to look like LeBron James, obviously. But based off Durant’s rave review alone, it seems like Ingram will be just fine.
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