The Los Angeles Lakers 2017-18 season may have ended without a playoff appearance but the final two games on their schedule were electrified thanks in part to the presence of Andre Ingram.
The 32-year-old guard had spent a decade toiling away in the G League and finally received his opportunity to play in an NBA game. Ingram, who set a G League record with his 3-point shooting, erupted in his first game with the Lakers, scoring 19 points and hitting 4-of-5 from deep.
He then followed up that performance by contributing to a Lakers win over the Clippers to close the season. He even filled in for an injured Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as the shooting guard in the starting unit in the second half.
Ingram appeared on Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21” show to discuss his experiences and was asked by Garnett about his favorite all-time player. Not surprisingly, Ingram paid tribute to Garnett himself while also bringing up Lakers legend Kobe Bryant:
“To be quite honest with you, yourself for one. I liked how you played with a passion. I was a pretty decent player coming up but not much passion. My brother was like, ‘Man, you need to find somebody with some passion. It will take your game to a whole another level. So I was watching [Kevin Garnett]. Obviously, playing with the Lakers, I was on the D-League team when Kobe was making his run. Between you two guys, it’s guys who are known for working hard, work ethic. That’s me all day. I love to work. It’s a process to get ready and put the time in. I love stuff like that.”
Ingram has emerged as one of the best stories of the season despite playing in only two NBA games and received high praise from Bryant himself, who wouldn’t rule out turning it into a movie.
In their playing days, Garnett and Bryant were known as tireless workers who pursued their dreams with no hesitation. Ingram may have taken longer to make it to the NBA, but he displayed that same determination throughout his career.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Ingram but he has earned the respect of the league.
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