With the regular season coming to a bit of a disappointing finish because of injuries, the Los Angeles Lakers provided Andre Ingram with the opportunity of a lifetime. Fresh off completing another season with the South Bay Lakers, Ingram was called up for his NBA debut.
The 32-year-old had spent 11 years in the D-League/G League before realizing his dream. Ingram made the most of it, exploding for 19 points off the bench against the Houston Rockets. His story drew national headlines and a congratulatory message from Chris Paul, among others.
The performance etched Ingram in the record books as his 19 points were good for the highest-scoring effort in a first career game by a Lakers player since Nick Van Exel had 23 points in 1993. Moreover, Ingram’s four made 3-pointers were most by a Lakers rookie in their debut.
After a second game with the Lakers that wasn’t quite as heralded, Ingram faced an uncertain future. Earlier this month the Lakers renounced their rights and made him an unrestricted free agent.
Naturally, Ingram is hopeful of remaining with the Lakers and being part of their roster come the start of the regular season, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated
“It would mean everything,” Ingram said of making the Lakers’ opening-day roster. “There is always the next thing, the next goal. Training camp is the next thing, then playing well and doing well for your team, then the next thing and the next thing. That is how it always is. Being on the [opening-day] roster would mean just as much as playing those last two games.”
Considering their newfound depth on the wing and Ingram’s lack of experience, he would figure to be a long shot to crack the Lakers’ roster on Opening Night of the 2018-19 season.
He was not included on their or any team’s Summer League roster, but that shouldn’t rule out Ingram potentially returning with South Bay, if not another G League affiliate. There also might exist a chance for the sharpshooter to pursue more lucrative offers overseas.
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