Ingram's unusual rookie story - he played 10-plus seasons in the National Basketball Association G League (formerly known as the D League) before the Lakers called him up from the South Bay Lakers for their final two games of the season - made headlines prior to the game against the Rockets, and his performance inspired those who refuse to give up on their dreams.
Either you're a big fan of the G League and its record book, as Ingram holds the league record for the most made three-point field goals in a career (713), or you're one of the middle or high school math students he tutors.
"It was open arms from everyone: all the teammates, all the coaches", Ingram said, per Lakers.com. I just wanted to feel it. It was incredible. The crowd, the lights, it was just once in a lifetime.
Since graduating from America University in 2007, Ingram has spent his entire career in the NBA's developmental league, including four seasons with the now-defunct Utah Flash, five seasons with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, and a season with the South Bay Lakers, who he played for this year. "MVP chants (while at the free-throw line) that's just insane", he said.
The Rockets ended up winning the game 105-99 - but no one seemed to care.it's ANDRE-MANIA in Los Angeles!
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Ingram's 19 elements have been primarily probably the most by a Lakers participant of their debut since Nick Van Exel dropped 23 in 1993, ESPN reported.
"When he said he was being called up to the Lakers, I literally lost it, and started screaming", his wife Marilee said.
"I told him I heard about his story, and that grind is unbelievable", the also 32-year-old Rockets All-Star point guard Chris Paul said.
His debut came a day after he was surprised by former player and Lakers president Johnson, who gave Ingram a contract until the end of the season. "I told him 'much respect.' Ten years grinding in the G League, and to finally get an opportunity and to play like that, that is pretty special".