Kobe Bryant spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers and even though he’s retired, he’s still monitoring the future crop of Lakers.
Bryant, 37, recently watched Brandon Ingram, the Lakers’ first-round pick (second overall) from this year's draft in action and he was impressed with his versatility on both the offence and defence.
"I think he plays with great tempo, great pace," Bryant told Time Warner Cable SportsNet."I like his length. His ball-handling ability is very good. He can get to spots on the floor."
Ingram, 18, is entering the NBA after playing just one season at Duke University. He has drawn praise and comparisons to the likes of Kevin Durant for his tall, lanky frame as he stands 6'9"and weighs 190 pounds. However, he has worked this summer to add some muscle as he works toward the grind of his first NBA season. But his tremendous wingspan has also impressed Bryant.
"I think defensively he has the potential to be fantastic as well," Bryant said. "He has long arms, long legs. So hopefully he starts really paying attention to that as much as the things he can do offensively."
Also, Bryant was impressed with his now-former teammate and the Lakers first-round pick (second overall) from last year, D’Angelo Russell. While he showed flashes of brilliance last season, the 20-year-old also showed inconsistency and immaturity – especially with his off-court incident with Nick Young.
However, Bryant believes the Ohio State product has learned something as he enters his second full season.
"There's certain things he's really picked up on," Bryant said. "Body positioning, using his size to be able to get to places. Recognizing defensive packages and where to position guys on the floor. He's developed very nicely over the summer."
While it will not involve Bryant, the Lakers’ future looks bright.