As news spreads among New Orleans Pelicans players that Brandon Ingram has been selected to the All-Star team for the first time, Ingram can expect a series of congratulatory tweets, texts and phone calls from teammates. For New Orleans guard/forward Josh Hart and guard Lonzo Ball – who’ve spent their entire NBA careers playing with Ingram – the notification is extremely satisfying. The former members of the Los Angeles Lakers know exactly what it took for Ingram to achieve the honor.
“It would show all of the hard work he’s put in, the journey he’s had,” Hart said Thursday morning, prior to he or any of the Pelicans knowing whether Ingram would be chosen. “The NBA is very situational. Obviously he’s in a great situation here, where he’s able to excel and be the player we knew he was. It would be very exciting (to find out he’s an All-Star).”
“It would be a great thing for him,” Ball said this morning. “Like I’ve said many times, I think he’s an All-Star for sure. Hopefully he gets his name on that list.”
The official announcement of Ingram’s first All-Star selection was made on TNT’s pregame show, prior to its weekly doubleheader. The 22-year-old forward is averaging 25.0 points per game; his scoring production has increased every season of his career, starting with 9.4 ppg as a Lakers rookie, followed by 16.1 and 18.3 in the subsequent campaigns.
Hart noted how much can change in the perception of a player in a brief amount of time, referencing some of the opinions from the media of Ingram as his four-year career has progressed.
“A year and a half ago, people were saying he was going to be a bust,” Hart recalled. “Now the same people are saying he’s an All-Star.”
“I’ve been with him the last three years, and I’ve just seen him improve every year,” Ball said. “Now he’s putting it all together.”