Brandon Ingram and Kevin Durant have a close relationship, and the second-year player says the reigning Finals MVP is always in his ear.

In 2016, the Los Angeles Lakers took Brandon Ingram second overall, and the former Duke standout has drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant since his college days. At 6-9 with ludicrous length and a wire-thin frame, the two share a similar body structure. The only difference is the skill levels — where the disparity is grand

“(Durant) is always sending me motivational things, though some things may need to be censored,” said Ingram to Michael Lee of The Vertical. “He sees a lot in me. He actually told me to block out everything and be the killer that I am. To get a lot of guys around this league that see what I can be, it does nothing but make me want to work harder.”

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In 79 games with the Lakers last season, Ingram mustered 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 40.2 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from three. It was considerably less than what we expected. There is, however, a silver lining. Ingram played much better after the All-Star break and put up 13.2 points on 47.5 percent shooting over the final 21 contests.

To label him a bust is unfair. Until this year, there was less optimism in Hollywood because the Lakers weren’t being run properly. Magic Johnson came in and made some moves, and now the franchise is better suited to maximize the talent that they have, which includes Ingram.

“For me, I just try to keep a level head, knowing that if I fail, it’s because everything isn’t easy,” he continued. “I know with the position I’m in, I’m going to struggle and I’m going to do a lot of things, and it’s going to help me in the long run because I put in a lot of work.”

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