Brandon Ingram is skinny.
You can't get around it. It's the first thing you notice when you see the Los Angeles Lakers rookie on the floor. His arms look like brooms, with his hands seemingly huge compared to the stick limbs they're attached to. His midsection makes it look like he's one of those makeshift robots at science fairs. He's just a very skinny kid.
And he knows it, and the Lakers know it, and so they're trying to put some meat on the kid's bones before he has to go in and battle with bigger stronger forwards like Mo Harkless or Chandler Parsons, let alone battle in the trees with DeMarcus Cousins or DeAndre Jordan.
ESPN took a long look at the concern over Ingram's weight concern, and Ingram shared the kind of gross eating habit he's had to adjust to try and get ready for NBA life.
Along the way, every element of that jet-set life has been interrupted by a reminder app on Brandon Ingram's iPhone -- the little app that dings every three to four hours, every ... single ... day, telling him to eat.
On a recent afternoon in Las Vegas, Ingram sank into a hotel room couch and explained how he aims for six feedings every 24 hours: breakfast, then a snack, then lunch, then a snack, then dinner, then a midnight snack. "It gets sickening," Ingram says, sounding tired, "but I just try to stick to it."
Ingram says he gorges on steak, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and ... well, it sounds like he'd rather stop there. Though Ingram's favorite class at Duke was public speaking, he's famously soft spoken; even sitting a few feet away, it's hard to hear him above the whir of a nearby air conditioner. But he seems even more reserved about the subject of his weight -- or lack thereof. And it's understandable. He has faced such questions in almost every interview (and countless other settings) for years.
"I think it just gives me motivation to show these guys that the skinny part doesn't matter," Ingram said on a conference call shortly after the Lakers selected him No. 2 overall this summer. "It got me here today. Being skinny didn't mean nothing when I was battling with each and every guy, each and every night."
That sounds pretty gross. Hard to blame the kid for not enjoying having to hammer heavy food all the time.
The rest of the insightful article talks about all the reasons why this approach might not be the best for Ingram, with consultations from nutritionists, trainers, and coaches. (The Lakers declined to let their staff speak on record for the piece.)
Among the elements that should be considered, Ingram actually was impressive at finishing in traffic at Las Vegas Summer League. Summer League doesn't feature the size, strength, or defensive awareness that he'll see next season, but he did show an uncanny ability to swipe rebounds in traffic just based on his go-go-gadget arms and athleticism. He's able to tap the ball effectively even when he can't grab it.
So there's reason to think that Ingram doesn't even really need to add that much muscle. But he's still piling on the food. Somebody should get the kid a gift card to Chipotle. At least that comes with chips and guacamole.