With only a few days remaining in their season and no playoffs in sight for a fifth consecutive year, the Los Angeles Lakers committed to one of the best sports storylines in recent memory by signing Andre Ingram from their South Bay affiliate of the G League.
Ingram spent 10 seasons in the development league, including playing for both the Lakers’ D-Fenders and South Bay teams. Ingram took full advantage of his long-awaited NBA debut, setting a franchise record for most 3-pointers made in a player’s first game with four.
He finished with 19 points, three rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes. Ingram was one of the few Lakers who spoke prior to Wednesday’s regular-season finale against the Clippers.
Of course, for the 32-year-old rookie, the media session was centered around a recap of his whirlwind 24 hours than a true reflection on the season. “Kind of treat it like any other game,” said Ingram of his approach heading into the matchup with the Clippers.
“I got a lot of rest, which was good. I’ve been advised to just keep the phone off and do my best to focus and settle in on what this actually is. It’s a basketball game, and I’m here to play. I’m excited to play, pretty relaxed, and feeling good.”
Ingram didn’t watch highlights or film of his electric debut, in large part because there were others who filled him in. “I cut the phone off, cut the highlights off. I will give it a look at some point, I’m sure,” Ingram said, adding he received hundreds of text messages.
“I’ve heard enough about it from my friends and stuff anyway, so I’m living through them. People were genuinely excited. You could see it, you could feel it. I don’t have much social media platforms at all, so I’m getting it through my friends and family, how big it’s gotten.”
If one message carried a little extra sentiment, it was Lakers legend Kobe Bryant being among those to express his amazement on social media. “My brother told me about that,” Ingram said.
“When he told me that, we both kind of went crazy. We are Kobe lovers. We just are. That was big for both of us.”