When the Los Angeles Lakers signed career minor leaguer Andre Ingram to his first NBA contract today, it felt mostly inconsequential to all but Ingram himself—or at most, a sort of cute story. Sure, the 32-year-old had grinded for a decade in the NBA’s developmental league, and playing for the Lakers is a great dream to fulfill, but for all intents and purposes he was a warm body who’d play a few uneventful minutes at the end of the season.
Well, the pointless minutes part may be true—the Lakers have no incentive to win after all—but Ingram’s long-awaited first NBA game was anything but dull. From his very first shot, Ingram put on a show for the L.A. crowd:
And he improbably kept up a hot streak all game, too. Ingram finished with 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. The six-foot-three guard also got three blocks on the statsheet, to go with three boards, a steal, and an assist in 29 minutes. He ended his game with a meaningless but ultimately satisfying final-minute three-ball.
And if you’re not swayed by the performance, Ingram’s wonderfully happy post-game interview will convert you.
Ingram gets another chance to impress before the season’s out, too. The Lakers and the Clippers meet tomorrow night, and there is really no good reason why Ingram shouldn’t play all the minutes.