Brandon Ingram completely excludes Lakers from list of Western Conference contenders

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers have their fair share of doubters going into the 2022-23 season.

It’s hard to blame anyone who thinks the Lakers won’t be true contenders in the upcoming campaign. After all, the team went 33-49 last season, and while L.A. has made some additions since then, the roster is still full of unknowns and awkward fits.

New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram, who began his career with the Lakers, doesn’t seem to have a lot of confidence in his former squad this season.

The 25-year-old was asked to talk about contenders in the Western Conference, and he didn’t mention the Lakers.

“I would say the whole NBA is stacked with good talent and really, really good teams,” Ingram said. “Of course, Golden State, Phoenix again, Dallas is gonna come back really good, the [Denver] Nuggets — a lot of these teams that were in the playoffs last year. I think Minnesota’s gonna make a huge push this year. Memphis, Memphis is really good, gonna be really good this year. So, it’s gonna be a battle.”

Ingram later mentioned the Los Angeles Clippers, who seem like one of the best teams in the league on paper right now.

The Lakers do have some believers, but it doesn’t seem like Ingram is one of them.

L.A. definitely has no shortage of motivation to shock the NBA world in the upcoming season. The team is likely tired of hearing about its struggles from last season, and if the Lakers can get off to a hot start this season, the doubters may start to quiet down.

While roster fit was a big issue for the Lakers last season, so was health. Injuries prevented the squad from getting a real chance to jell, and the team is going to need to avoid a similar situation in the 2022-23 campaign.

As for Ingram, he’s likely excited to get his seventh NBA season underway. With Zion Williamson back in action, New Orleans has the potential to be one of the sneakier teams in the league this season. Time will tell if the Pelicans can cause a little bit of chaos in the Western Conference.

Both the Lakers and Pelicans will open their seasons against tricky opponents. Los Angeles will face the Golden State Warriors on the road on Oct. 18, and New Orleans will face the Brooklyn Nets on the road on Oct. 19.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.