Kobe Bryant Was In Awe Of 32-Year-Old Andre Ingram’s Magical NBA Debut

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In what is arguably the best and most inspiring story of the season, 32-year-old rookie Andre Ingram made his NBA debut on Tuesday night after signing with the Lakers for the final two games of the season, and it ended up being a performance for the ages.

Ingram, who had spent more than a decade playing in the G League, came off the bench against the Rockets to put up 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field overall, including a red-hot 4-of-5 from downtown. The Staples Center crowd, of course, flew into a frenzy as they watched a man realize his lifelong dream right before their eyes.

And it wasn’t just fans who took notice. Chris Paul had some words of encouragement for Ingram as he checked into the ballgame for the first time, and Ingram also caught the attention of a certain retired Lakers legend who happened to be watching and cheering along just like the rest of us.
Kobe Bryant spoke with Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports about Ingram’s big night and had nothing but praise for Ingram’s commitment to the game of basketball to fight for that moment and then take advantage of it the way he did.

“Dude, (the story is) ridiculous. Like, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? I mean to have the courage and resolve to stick with that dream, and to now get your shot and to come through in that way? I mean, that’s impressive, man.”

It almost didn’t matter that the Lakers lost that game to Houston, 105-99, nor that they have long been eliminated from postseason eligibility. Ingram’s triumph journey to achieve his dream transcends all of that, and he’ll get one more chance to shine on Wednesday night when the Lakers wrap up their season against the Clippers.