It's not very often you see a player making their debut in the NBA at the age of 32, but that's exactly what Andre Ingram did on Tuesday night for the Los Angeles Lakers in their game against the Houston Rockets.
It may not have had the fairytale ending of a win for the point guard on the night, as the Lakers lost 105-99 to the Rockets at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but he was still a shining star on the court which everyone appreciated.
Ingram finished his NBA debut with 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also had three rebounds, an assist, a steal, and three blocks to his name after just over 29 minutes on the court as well. He didn't miss a single shot until the fourth quarter of the game.
After 10 years of grinding in the G League, Ingram had a chance to show off his talents on the big stage that is the NBA, and he took advantage of it, almost leading the Lakers to a come-from-behind victory against the best team in the league. The crowd even chanted 'MVP!' in his direction.
Several NBA players, as well as Lakers' legend Kobe Bryant who felt as shocked and inspired by his performance, showed their appreciation to the 32-year-old on social media.
Paul said of Ingram's debut to ESPN after the game: "I told him I heard about his story, and that grind is unbelievable. I told him, `Much respect.' I mean, 10 years grinding in the G League, to finally get an opportunity and to play like that, it's pretty special."
Ingram's Lakers teammates in Brook Lopez and Julius Randle were just as impressed. Lopez said: "To play the way he played, that's the stuff that dreams are made of. Just an inspirational story. He belonged out there."
Randle said: "That's a testament to hard work, never giving up, and just sticking with it."
The man himself had a huge smile on his face after the game, as he told ESPN: "It was excellent. Once we went out as a team for warmups, I just felt some electricity out there. It was amazing. The crowd, the lights, it was just once in a lifetime. It was awesome."
Ingram was called up by the Lakers to the NBA from the G League after they needed another body on the wing due to Brandon Ingram (concussion protocol), Lonzo Ball (left knee contusion) and Kyle Kuzma (sprained left ankle) being out because of injury, and he didn't let the team down.
Los Angeles only signed him for the final two games of the regular season on Monday, but if he is able to build on this good performance with another good outing against the Clippers tonight, then this probably won't be the last we see of him in the NBA.
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