Every single NBA draft, there are a number of players that Jay Bilas, Mike Tirico, and Jalen Rose make the comment, “They will need to put on a little weight.” I know that I have heard this numerous times and thought to myself well yeah, those guys do need to gain some weight to be able to ball out in the league. The first person everyone thinks about when talking about this is Kevin Durant. I remember watching Durant at Texas and wondering how a dude so lanky and tall could handle the contact in the college game and still be able to put up 20 points a game and grab 8 boards. Maybe this is why so many GM’s in the league were so high on him when he left college for that payday that is the professional sports gig. I think it is safe to say that Durant has had a great career with his 10 years in the league, even though he still has molded himself into the lean, lanky superstar that everyone thought would have to become bulky.
Alright, Durant is just a fluke. That’s why he’s a superstar, right? He is one of the few guys that is able to be “skinny” and still play a physical, 6’10” game. WRONG. Players today are funneling in who hold this same frame and are wildly successful within the league. Why you may ask? It’s simple. The game is changing and so are the players.
Over the past 5 years, the NBA has made a statement that they want the game to be more entertaining, meaning less dead balls and more high-flyers and season-highs. They focus on the offense, hoping that someone goes off for 40 each night and throws up a couple of alley-oops to their teammate that make ESPN’s Top 10. The continuation rule. The Hack-A-Shaq rule. The emphasis on less contact on the scorer.
With the NBA evolving, so do the players. They are more offense-oriented. They are taller and stronger. Wait, stronger might be contradicting. If you ask me, Brandon Ingram is the Next Big Thing. Why? He encapsulates everything that Kevin Durant was 10 years ago. Young, slim, and a proven scorer. Could use a little more muscle most said, but would be a great addition to any team. Oh yeah, he also was drafted high to a not-so-great team that made some moves to ensure his growth post-draft. Ingram, much like Durant, found out early on in his Freshman year at Duke that he was the player that nobody could guard. If they wanted to guard him tight, he will drive by you with 3 steps and use his length to finish. Back off, and my man shows his range and bangs one from deep.
This enables the Ingram’s of the league to excel and at a very high level, due to the rule changes and evolution of the league. When these players get fouled, they are able to reach and get shots off that most players would not be able to previously and can score them with even more ease. This is why Ingram is going to be a factor in the NBA, possibly from the jump. A player that is 6’10” and can handle and score the basketball like him are proven to be better on the offensive end.
Now, the reason why I say all of this and reason for the Young Gun Ingram. Anyone ever heard of Tim Grover? Yeah, that’s the guy that trained MJ and made sure that his weight gain was progressive and not too much too soon. Tim Grover created a weight gain plan for Jordan that enabled him to maintain his speed, quickness, and touch all while gaining weight. But he did this over years. YEARS. He told Jordan in their initial meeting that he found a way in which he could ensure his game would not change, but he could gain 20 pounds of muscle and be more physical. Grover also told ESPN that NBA players cannot gain muscle quickly, especially in their early growing years. This halts all of those previous skill they developed and worked on for years prior to coming to the league.
Grover states, “That’s how they’re going to fail in the NBA.” He developed this plan for slow muscle growth and has proven success with the greatest NBA player to ever suit up. Tim is also currently working out with Ingram prior to his training with the Lakers. Ingram is another along the long list of many who will follow this same type of frame, but still be successful in the NBA. If you ask me, Ingram is going to be a stud in the league. And with that said, I am going to end this post on a statement that many may question.
Ingram will be better than Ben Simmons.
Tim Grover- Brandon Ingram