The Los Angeles Lakers lost their penultimate game of the season Tuesday night, but no one is going to remember that trivial result. What most will remember is 32-year-old rookie Andre Ingram exploding for 19 points in his NBA debut.
As such, Ingram made history as the highest-scoring first career game for a Lakers player since Nick Van Exel had 23 points in 1993. Fittingly for the G League’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers, Ingram also set a new record for shooting from distance as well.
His four made threes were the most by a Lakers rookie in their debut ever. Ingram led the South Bay Lakers this season by canning 47.5 percent of his 4.6 triples per game.
Ingram has been grinding for 10 years for his first opportunity and he made the most of it. The joy he played with in front of his family who flew out to see him transferred to the rest of the team, who made an effort both to feed him and to go bananas on the bench every time Ingram made a shot.
Stories like the one Ingram created by taking advantage of his one big shot on national TV are what make sports so great. He’ll have one more chance to show he belongs in the NBA when the Lakers take on their Staples Center co-tenants, the Clippers on Wednesday night as they wrap up the 2017-18 season.
What was to be a forgettable game between two lottery teams is now must-see TV, all because of Ingram’s incredible, long-delayed start to his career.