Thursday, 21 June, 2018

G League call-up Andre Ingram scores 19 in National Basketball Association debut for Lakers

Bryant Paul praise Lakers' 10-year G League veteran Ingram after NBA debut Bryant Paul praise Lakers' 10-year G League veteran Ingram after NBA debut
Domingo Copeland | 12 April, 2018, 00:35

Ingram's unusual rookie story - he played 10-plus seasons in the National Basketball Association G League (formerly known as the D League) before the Lakers called him up from the South Bay Lakers for their final two games of the season - made headlines prior to the game against the Rockets, and his performance inspired those who refuse to give up on their dreams. Kuzma (sprained ankle) was ruled out for Tuesday night's loss against Houston and is unlikely to play in Wednesday's season finale against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Despite losing to the Rockets 105-99, Lakers coach Luke Walton awarded Ingram the game ball.

Ingram, who holds the all-time G League (formerly the D League) record for most 3-pointers made, connected on his first four shots from the field including a trio of threes and finished with 19 points on 6/8 shooting.

"Everyone was like, 'Man, when you get it, just let it go, '" Ingram said, according to ESPN. As quickly as we went out as a workers for warmups, I merely felt some electrical power in the marketplace. It was truly a once in a lifetime moment and one the salt and peppered Ingram earned, all the way down to the "MVP" chants from the Staples Center crowd.

Paul, who top-scored with 22 points for the Rockets, spoke to Ingram - the subject of MVP chants from Lakers fans - at the scorers' table during the match.

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After the game, nine-time All Star and two-time Olympic gold medallist Paul, 32, said: "I told him much respect". The only other Laker debuts besides Van Exel that came with more points were Magic Johnson (26 points in 1979), Jerry West (20 points in 1960).

Andre Ingram and Brandon Ingram of the Los Angeles Lakers hug after the game against the Houston Rockets.

Ingram also earned respect from around the world, receiving praise from NBA, MLB, and National Football League players, among many others.

Ingram spent 10 years grinding throughout the NBA's official minor league system sooner than getting the choice up he'd been prepared for.

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