24 Seconds presented by Ibotta: Brandon Ingram
Now in his second season with New Orleans, 2020 All-Star forward Brandon Ingram is this week’s subject Q&A. The 23-year-old sat down with Pelicans.com to discuss a couple of the team’s assistant coaches, his love for hoops and the first impressions he had of his head coach and the club’s first-round draft pick:
Pelicans.com: New Orleans hired a new head coach this season, but assistant coach Fred Vinson was asked to stay. You and Lonzo Ball do a lot of shooting work with him. How do you feel about your progress with Fred? What’s it like training with him?
Ingram: I think it's steady elevation. Every single day we work on things to get better. We see a difference in ourselves every single day that we come in and it's definitely making us more confident in our games. Especially me seeing Lonzo every single day and seeing how his game has changed and how it has matured over these last few months. Having Fred around every day, he keeps your mechanics on point and it’s good to have him around.
Pelicans.com: What were your thoughts on Teresa Weatherspoon getting elevated to an assistant coach?
Ingram: I mean, she was a player. So to be put in that position, I think she has a feel for everything that a player can feel on the defensive end and how she went out there and all the effort, all the techniques and everything that she had behind her and her mentality. I think it’s great for our team, especially her just being around the guys and being able to relate to them.
Pelicans.com: It seems like 90 percent of what you post on Instagram is in the gym, working to get better as a player. While you’re paid to play basketball, is it your passion? When did that first start? Was it as far back as you can remember?
Ingram: Yeah. I definitely have a passion for basketball besides the money part, besides anything else… the politics behind it, or wherever else. I fell in love with the game of basketball at an early age. My dad ran a basketball gym about five minutes from my house, which is also my elementary school. So I was there when school was out, I was going to the Boys & Girls Club and I was at the gym every single day. And it’s hard when you're around it so many days not to fall in love with it. I didn’t know that I was going to make a living off of it, but it was something that I loved to do, and something that I love to do now, and I want to continue.
Pelicans.com: What was your first impression of Coach Van Gundy when he was hired?
Ingram: I remember the Orlando team with Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis. I mean, I thought he was a good coach then, but him coming to my house three days after he got hired and his conversations in text messages, he's just all about preparation. I think when he shoots over his message, it’s very detailed and he puts everything out for you to understand, and wants you to communicate to him if you don’t understand. My first impression was he’s a good teacher. He puts it out there for you to learn, and then he makes it easy for you.
Pelicans.com: What were your first impressions of Kira Lewis Jr.?
Ingram: He’s more professional than a regular rookie. He's on time, in the gym working on the same routine every single day. I know it will definitely help him, especially in this league. Kira is going to be a really good player.