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Ingram’s Body Language Under Fire Following Lakers’ Defeat


The Pelicans need better body language from leaders like Brandon Ingram versus the Kings.

Fans of the New Orleans Pelicans can be a fickle bunch and Brandon Ingram is starting to learn that the hardest way possible. Sitting on the sidelines for the entire fourth quarter of an NBA Play-In Tournament loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was a humbling experience for Ingram. He reportedly did not take the benching well and Ingram’s poor body language went beyond the game.

It had to be tough, granted. Ingram’s promise of beating L.A. went by the unfulfilled. The Pelicans have lost all momentum, especially in the Smoothie King Center. They’ve lost six in a row at home and are facing a win-or-go-home game against the Sacramento Kings after two days of regrouping.

They need it according to several reports, with one brand-damaging example coming from Michael Scotto’s All-NBA Podcast.

“Brandon Ingram, I’ve heard from my people in New Orleans, that it extended into the postgame. That Brandon Ingram stormed out of the building pretty upset. And Willie Green is smart enough to know. He was a player and his strength is how he connects to his team. He knew that not bringing (Ingram) back in was going to cause a conflict.”

“Brandon Ingram has to be better in those moments,” Scotto continued. “It’s a do-or-die game. There is no time for you to be focused on that thing, even though I know it’s tough…Why was Ingram throwing a fit? That team does not know who they are in the foxhole.”

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Willie Green just did not feel like Ingram was a requirement for winning the game late in the fourth quarter. Even after Zion Williamson went down with a hamstring injury, the Pelicans played on without Ingram’s leadership.

“I just liked the group that was on the floor at the time,” Green stated after the loss. “(Ingram) is still getting back. He’s still finding a rhythm. I did not want to force the issue. I liked the group that was that was going. They had some momentum there.”

Pelicans need All-Star leadership, not sore losers

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) during the second half of a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Smoothie King Center
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Ingram finished with 11 points (4-12), four rebounds, four assists, and three turnovers in 25 minutes of action. He missed a 14-foot midrange jumper at the 8:54 mark of the fourth quarter. Herb Jones checked in for Ingram 90 seconds later and the former All-Star’s night was over. It was an easy decision for Green, who brushed aside questions in the postgame press conference. Ingram was disengaged during huddles and seen sitting down while the rest of the team stood in support of the players on the court.

Zion Williamson stormed off the court in frustration after suffering another injury. Ingram sulked on the bench during the fourth quarter. The Pelicans will need better body language from their All-Star leaders versus the Sacramento Kings. New Orleans demands better as a city and the front office needs to see more before committing further to this core. The role players deserve better as well, having buoyed the team through tough times for three seasons.

The players were under more pressure than Willie Green going into the Play-In Tournament. Green, EVP David Griffin, and Trajan Langdon have already signed contract extensions. Ingram is looking for another max-level commitment from the franchise. The Pelicans did not get that level of return on their investment from Ingram in the NBA Play-In Tournament loss to the Lakers.

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