Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram determined to return to All-Star weekend

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“Winning and making noise in the playoffs,” Russell said. “When you win, everyone gets here.”The Lakers (19-39) have not won lately as they have missed the postseason for three consecutive seasons and posted their worst record in franchise history in the past two years. For the first time since 1999, the Lakers will not boast a player in the All-Star game on Sunday, a development Russell pointed out coincided with Kobe Bryant’s retirement following 20 NBA seasons.While the Lakers do not have clarity when All-Stars will return on a normal basis, Ingram sounded clear on what it would take to become one. “Continue to work hard,” Ingram said. “This summer is going to be a big summer for me to make a great jump for next year and continue to show my work ethic and show what I can do on the basketball floor.”Then, Ingram plans to train in the weight room so he can add bulk to his listed 6-foot-9, 190-pound frame. He also has plans to work out with Bryant, who texted him on Wednesday. Though Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski did not talk much about Bryant during Ingram’s freshman season last year with the Blue Devils, Ingram admired Bryant’s work ethic, post presence and footwork from afar. NEW ORLEANS >> It took only 30 seconds for Lakers second-year guard D’Angelo Russell to drain a 3-pointer. It took only 46 seconds for Lakers rookie forward Brandon Ingram to sink a pull-up jumper.If only it were that easy for two key pieces of the Lakers’ young core to develop into the finished product.Russell and Ingram offered flashes of their scoring potential in the Rising Star Challenge, though it wasn’t enough as the World Team defeated the U.S. team, 150-141 on Friday at Smoothie King Center. Russell said he felt like a “veteran” despite posting worse numbers in his second year (12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and four assists in 19 minutes as a starter) than as a rookie (22 points on 9-of-15 shooting and seven assists in 17 minutes off the bench). Ingram said he felt inspired with the talent around him as he posted four points on 2-of-4 shooting in 17 minutes off the bench.Whether Russell and Ingram make future All-Star appearances in the main event depends on other things far more substantial and challenging. “I want to find ways to affect the game next year,” said Ingram, who has averaged 8.0 points on only 36.3 percent shooting. “On the offensive end, doing more of course and on the defensive end, being more locked in. It’s just about having the advantage of going through this season and having it all laid out.”Unlike Ingram, Russell had first-hand experience playing with Bryant and viewing his work habits. Though Russell faced challenges adapting to his demanding personality and sharing ball-handling duties, the Lakers’ second-year guard said he still benefitted from learning more about Bryant’s regimen.Hence, Russell’s eyes perked up as he considered if the 20-year-old could play 20 NBA seasons.“I hope so. It’s your body, it’s not really you. It’s if your body allows you,” Russell said. “You’d see him always with ice packs on after practice, before practice. That might be the secret.”Russell also discovered that growth coincides with more experience.“It seems slower. It seems a little easier for me,” Russell said. “Some nights are tough nights, depending on who your opponent is. But one year in the league does a lot.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img