Andre Ingram has yet to play Fortnite. The ever-smiling 32-year-old returned to the gym with the South Bay Lakers as part of a roster featuring teammates who hadn’t hit puberty when he went undrafted in 2007.
“The biggest difference is, they’re heavy into Fortnite and I haven’t really gotten into it,” Ingram said with a big grin. Age differences aside, basketball is basketball and Ingram can relate to his teammates at the most important level.
“If nothing more, having gone through these experiences before it’s a bit less stressful for me,” he said. “I can relate to all the feelings that these guys are feeling, whether you’re just trying to make the team or just being excited about being in the G League or have aspirations to play in the NBA.”
Riding a 10-year tenure in the developmental league, Ingram became a national sensation when he was called up by the Lakers for his NBA debut last April. Ingram caught fire against the Houston Rockets, finishing with 19 points (6-of-8 from the field, 4-for-5 from three) and his story made headlines across the country.
Now the fan-favorite is back to the routine he’s perfected over the last decade. He’s still putting in the work to make the South Bay roster, while allowing himself to reflect some.
“Now that I look back at it, I can smile a bit on it,” Ingram said of his long awaited NBA call-up. “It was something that happened that was really cool and obviously touched a lot of people. I look back on it now and I can smile and now I can kind of take it in.”
Ingram is the G league’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers. With 384 games of experience, he’s still working on being better everyday. He’s developed his voice as a leader on the court.
“I’ve never been a big talker. My leadership has always been more by example than speaking, but when you’re an older guy like myself and you have younger guys here they ask you questions,” Ingram explained.
Ingram knows it’s not about the destination, but enjoying the ride. “It’s where you are. You can pick out the bright spot or what’s positive about any situation you’re in. You’ll be grateful for it and you can live in that.”
Whether or not this season will include another Lakers cameo, for now Ingram is just happy to be back.
“To be back with this team, however many seasons it’s been, I enjoy it here. It’s why I keep coming back,” he said.