Los Angeles Lakers call up 10-year G-League veteran Andre Ingram

SOUTHAVEN, MS - MARCH 23: Andre Ingram
SOUTHAVEN, MS - MARCH 23: Andre Ingram /

Andre Ingram got called up to the Los Angeles Lakers yesterday and it was something special after ten years in the G-League and six with the South Bay Lakers.

In what is the No. 1 feel-good story of the South Bay Lakers and Lakers stories of the season, the Lakers called up 6-year Lakers G-League Veteran Andre Ingram for the remainder of the season. Yes, the season for the Lakers is almost over, and yes, there are only a few games left, but this has been a long time and coming.

Ingram has been playing in the NBA Minor League, or G-League for ten seasons, and he is spent six of those playing for the D-Fenders, now the South Bay Lakers.

I have always found Ingram to be humble, confident and positive. I often spoke to NBA Scouts as they watched the team over the last three years imploring them to give Andre a shot at the NBA. Who doesn’t need a 3-point shooter? It was always his age that came up as the issue. To this day, I cannot understand why scouts are so worried about age, can the man ball? Yes? SIGN HIM!

Ingram is 32-years-old and is one of the keys to the South Bay Lakers success over the past seasons, mostly because of his sweet 3-point shot. He has made 713 career 3-pointers (176 more than the previous record) and won the 3-Point Contest twice (2010 and 2016). I had the chance to interview the solid defensive and offensive player after he returned from the All-Star competition in 2016.

Well, that’s just what Luke Walton, Rob Pelinka, Nick Mazzella and Magic Johnson did. They did the right thing. All were there for the surprise call-up meeting where the team brought in Ingram and then spilled the news. With his prior coach Casey Owens in the room, called up last season to help coach the Lakers, Ingram was given the news. An emotional Ingram called his wife who was ecstatic on the other side of his phone.

Walton assured Ingram he would get play time. The South Bay Lakers, as a six seed, made a valiant effort through a one-and-done tournament and made it to the Western Conference Championship game. The team was outscored by the Austin Spurs who advanced to the Championship round to face the Raptors 905. His teammates congratulated him in this video:

I’m not going to lie, I had to grab a tissue to make it through this video. No one deserves this more than Andre’ and he has brought me personally a ton of entertainment. Last year he shot 55% from three and this season he shot 48%. Mazzella tells him he has been a leader in the locker room.

Lakers brass told him that they loved his basketball DNA. Ingram is nervously excited and hopeful, and it was a bit difficult for it to settle in. All his coaches from the last six years went to bat for him, and it meant a lot to him, even if it is just two games, it is two games in the NBA for a long-time veteran. Lots of hugs all around.

I wasn’t the only person moved by this story, David Jacoby talked about it with Jalen Rose on the Jalen and Jacoby show today. “What really brings it home for me? — Because of all the premature gray, I’ve got it too — it makes it seem likes he’s in the G-League for 20 years instead of 10,” quipped Jacoby.

Rose had this to say, “First and foremost I am very excited for him. I think he’s going to go out and make a couple of three’s and excite the crowd. It’s also a terrific opportunity and it’s also a great promotion for the G-League.”

Ingram was interviewed today as a Laker.

Andre has played with Thomas Bryant, Travis Wear, Gary Payton II, Alex Caruso, Ivica Zubac and any other Laker who played on the D-Fenders are still with the Lakers. “Everybody works hard, I am thankful for the opportunity,” said the well-loved Laker.

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If you find you have no reason to tune into the Lakers last two games or you never miss a Lakers game. Please send your basketball love out to Ingram when he plays for the first time. No one deserves it more than him, and the NBA Scouts need to wake up!