Byron Scott caught a lot of flak with the way he handled D’Angelo Russell‘s rookie season. The former Los Angeles Lakers coach seemed unwilling to give him consistent time on the court early on and when Russell would get asked the advice or coaching Scott was giving him as a rookie, the answer was usually the verbal version of the shrug emoji. Scott was skewered for his handling of Russell and rightfully so. While making a No. 2 overall pick earn playing time isn’t absurd, there seemed to be very little system or plan for having him do it, especially with fourth quarter minutes.
The Lakers now have a new coach and another No. 2 overall pick starting his NBA career. Luke Walton is on the sidelines and he has to figure out time for Brandon Ingram. But it doesn’t sound like Ingram will necessarily be starting right away. Walton and the Lakers want to help ease Ingram into the grind of an 82-game campaign, and they also want to make sure Ingram is learning how to play the right way instead of just playing to play.
This sounds like the way to go and it sounds like it will be a communicative process for Ingram and their coach. And that’s really the important part of leading. You can’t have leadership and growth without communication. Once you eliminate that, things become almost too chaotic and the common goal can’t come together. The goal is for the Lakers to not be a joke anymore and they have plenty of young talent to develop in order to make that happen. But the process of developing that talent has to be adaptable to the situation at hand.
With Ingram, Russell, Julius Randle, and Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers have a solid young core. You can even throw guys like Ivica Zubac and Larry Nance Jr. into that core, as well. The Lakers don’t have to become good right away and they probably won’t be. However, growing this young talent together properly is going to take patience and understanding, which were two things Scott appeared to lack during last season when he was more concerned with managing Kobe Bryant‘s farewell tour instead of making sure Russell was learning from his mistakes.
Ingram not starting right away is fine. It shows that when he does end up on the court more and works his way into the starting lineup, he’ll have gone through the growth process of earning it. More importantly, he’ll know what he needs to do to get to that point.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Brandon Ingram will have to earn a starting spot for the Lakers