At the end of last season, the Lakers had two Ingrams, one was Brandon Ingram. The other is Ingram, a veteran who has worked hard for 10 years to create the D-League and finally completed his dream of being on the NBA stage at the age of 32.
But after saying goodbye to the brief whirlwind at the end of last year’s season, I still have to face the real life. Once again he’s back in the G League, but as he shatters the all-time G League record for games played, his inspiring history of basketball struggles is once again a topic of conversation.
There should be some fans still fresh in the memory, more or less with an encouraging factor. At the last moment of the last season when it was determined to miss the playoffs, the Lakers promoted this senior D-League veteran from their own G-League team, the South Bay Lakers, to the NBA to complete his dream and achieved a story.
Ingram entered the draft as early as 2007 but was undrafted, starting his long G League career in November of that year. From the Utah Chargers under the Jazz, to the Los Angeles Guardians under the Lakers, and then renamed the South Bay Lakers, they also continued to stay in the team. Sadly, 10 years have passed so quickly, and he is still out of the NBA.
In the face of such a situation, the average player should either give up the NBA early to seek other life, or go overseas to seek gold, but Ingram has always been the same. Even if he went to Australia to play football to make money at one time, on the one hand, he was caring, and on the other hand, he judged that staying in the United States was likely to be “seen” by the NBA. In the struggle between money and dreams, I quickly chose the latter.
But the reality is cruel. Even though he has long been a legendary shooter who broke the three-point record in the G League, and even because of his inspirational story of chasing his dreams, he has cultivated a group of loyal fans, and his mediocre stature and the disadvantage of being high in age have kept him out of favor for a long time. When other players changed their runways or developed abroad due to economic considerations, Ingram did not change their ambitions, preferring to rely on part-time math tutors to supplement their family (many people think this is actually his full-time job, because he may earn more than the G-League). more), and, like modern Don Quixote, continue to play in the G League with a foolish zeal. The NBA dream never gives up. Finally, this time God opened a window for him!
In the last few days of the 2017-18 regular season, the Lakers helped him realize his dream with a short contract. Ingram, who has been honing his sword for ten years, finally made it to the NBA. But he also repaid the team with excellent performance. Even if he is an older NBA rookie, he is still a 10-year professional player with some gray hair.
The maiden game debuted at the end of the first quarter. Ingram scored 19 points, 3 rebounds and 3 hot pots in 29 minutes of playing. He made 4 of 5 three-pointers, and the team scored the second highest score in 1993. Exel), the highest score in the Lakers’ career opening game, and its moving performance. Not only was he praised by coach Luke Walton, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and many other stars after the game, but he even won the MVP call from the fans on the sidelines during the game. As far as the newcomer is concerned, it may be difficult to be surpassed.
In the second game, the last game of the season, although the shooting percentage was not good, he could still help the team in other ways. Ingram sent 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 interceptions, and still won praise, so cheering In the sound, he ended his short NBA first season tour.
Inspirational and real, Ingram was still under the halo after the season, was invited to kick off for the Dodgers, was interviewed on well-known magazines and TV shows, and even many Hollywood studios negotiated to start a biopic, which was not good for a while.
But as the pop art master Andy Warhol once said, “In the future, everyone can be famous for 15 minutes”, which can be said to be a warm and cold portrayal of Ingram after last summer. Other Internet celebrity-like portrayals of the era, when the topic of Ingram cooled, after the 15 minutes passed, he still had to face the next life, his basketball life.
A glimpse of performance at the end of the season, although as he himself said, he has heard that some teams are interested in him. But in addition to the Lakers making him a free agent, he has not received invitations from the other 29 teams in the end. After thinking about it, Ingram still wants to return to the Lakers as the direction of his efforts. In addition, he has played for him for many years, and he returned to his old club, the South Bay Lakers, to continue his 7th year here and continue to pursue his dream of entering the NBA again.
What is slightly different this time is that after he has been in the NBA, he returns to the G League, and his salary can benefit from an increase in major league qualifications. Even so, it’s still a drop in the bucket!
One point that was hotly debated earlier was that Ingram earned $13,824 in just 2 games for the Lakers. And this is already about half a year’s salary for such a senior G League player (the G League’s annual salary is estimated to be only $26,000, which is also related to only playing for half a year), even if it increases due to playing in the NBA, especially in California, the average per capita is about $70,000. It makes people wonder how strong will he is and how supportive his family is, so that he can continue to pursue his dreams after ten years.
Many media even compared his story to the well-known sports inspirational movie “Million Dollar Arms” in film history. The movie depicts the struggle of a veteran minor league player, and it is a complete copy of Ingram.
Time never waits, and soon this year’s NBA season is halfway through. Not only is Ingram not waiting for a second spring, but his performance in the G League has also declined significantly this season (7.7 points, 0.9 assists and 0.4 steals per game. 35.3% three-point shooting. All career lows except points (second lowest). Unless To reproduce the miracle, his dream of returning to the NBA, the door is likely to have really closed.
But so what? In the G League, he has already written history. Not only did he just break the record for the number of games played (NO.1 in the history of 403 games), he also played No.3 in playing time, No.5 in scoring, No.7 in shots, and No.5 in interceptions. Two-time G League three-point shot champion, No.1 in three-point attempts and three-point shooting (1633 and 743 are far ahead of NO.2, and still maintains a career-high 45.5% of the NO.20 three-pointers in history) The hit rate, breaking 40% in 10 of the 11 seasons, is definitely the strongest three-point shooter in the history of the G League).
In an interview before the NBA last year, he also said this: “I didn’t set the ending, I just wanted to keep running until I was powerless. It’s really hard not to think about the final result, but I try not to think about it, think about it. The next game, the next game, day after day, as long as I have the strength, I can do it.”
Even though his NBA dream has been fulfilled, Ingram, who is now looking forward to another chance, said, “As long as I can play, then my wife says no problem, we will all be fine.”
With such lofty professional ethics and passion for the game, it’s no wonder that even this year has slipped. There are still some Lakers reporters and fans who suggest that Ingram, who is one year older, return to the Lakers again, believing that he can be a role model for the young players, and can also help the Lakers’ poor and weak three-point perimeter (No.28 in the league this season). ).
And no matter how slim the chances are, as long as Ingram doesn’t give up, there is still hope for everything. This will also be his story, the greatest inspiration to the world!