LOS ANGELES, CA
Everybody talks about the grind. Few actually live it. 32-year old Los Angeles Lakers guard, Andre Ingram not only lived the grind, he came out of the grind on the winning side.
Deadspin.com (@Deadspin) reports, Ingram played 384 games in 10 years in minor league basketball leagues before he was called up to the NBA and made his Lakers debut last night. Ingram played in multiple places in his journey to the big boy league, incuding: Orem, Utah; El Segundo California; Perth, Australia; before Ingram made his way back to El Segundo. Ingram never made more than $30,000/year in his basketball career. He worked as a math tutor in order to make ends meet. After 10-years on the grind, Ingram finally got a shot to do what he likely had been dreaming of doing since he was a child, and what drove him to play year after year in all of these places, for very little money, and not give up on his dream…..play in an NBA game. Ingram’s teammates and coaches all knew of his long journey, and every one of them encouraged him to make the most out of this opportunity.
“Everyone was like ‘Man, when you get it, just let it go.” Ingram said after the game. Ingram scored 19 points in his Lakers debut. He shot 6-8 from the field, 4-5 from three point range. Ingram didn’t miss a shot until halfway through the final quarter of the game. It was one of those nights for the 32-year old rookie. If you’ve ever played basketball with any regularity, I’m sure you’ve had at least 1 of those games. You know what type of games I’m talking about. When you know the shot is good the moment the ball leaves your hands. The type of games where shots you usually miss are miraculously falling with some frequency. The type of games when the rim looks as big as a lake and you feel confident enough to fire away from anywhere. Lakers head coach Luke Walton agreed that Ingram was having one of those nights.
“He didn’t miss a shot until the fourth quarter, and he got fouled on the only two he did miss.”
Ingram’s effort last night puts him in the Lakers record books. He had the fourth highest scoring debut for a Laker…..ever. Lakers greats Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’neal aren’t even on that short list. Laker fans at the Staples Center obviously knew of Ingram’s journey as they chanted M-V-P every time Ingram was about to take a shot and after every bucket he sank. I don’t know what the future holds for a 32-year old rookie in the NBA, but Andre Ingram had a great night. A night that he’s probably been dreaming of having for a long time. A night that couldn’t have possibly played out any better even if he had scripted it himself. A night that put Andre Ingram’s name into the Los Angeles Lakers record books. That’s the type of things that dreams are made of. Andre Ingram’s story is what we were told the American dream was. “If you work hard enough, and stick to it, your dreams can and probably will come true.
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