Bryant, Paul praise Lakers' 10-year G League veteran Ingram after NBA debut

Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul led the praise for Andre Ingram after the 10-year G League veteran made his NBA debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

Ingram, 32, went undrafted in 2007 and spent his entire career in the G League until he was this week signed for the rest of the season by the Lakers, making his first appearance in a 105-99 defeat to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.

He is the G League's all-time leader in three-pointers made (713) and was four-of-five from beyond the arc as he dropped 19 points on the Rockets in a stirring maiden outing.

Lakers icon Bryant tweeted footage of Ingram's highlights and added the caption: "LOVE IT".

Paul, who top-scored with 22 points for the Rockets, spoke to Ingram - the subject of MVP chants from Lakers fans - at the scorers' table during the match.

When asked by reporters what their conversation was about, he said: "I told him much respect. 10 years grinding in the G League, finally get an opportunity and to play like that, that's pretty special."

Paul added in a post on Twitter: "The power of focus and persistence is real!! Congrats Andre Ingram on your NBA debut. Well deserved!"

Ingram's team-mates Isaiah Thomas, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma were among those to laud Ingram's achievement on social media, with Damian Lillard and Jeremy Lin also offering kind words.

 

IFW this ...

A post shared by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

Speaking to TNT, Ingram, who additionally works as a mathematics tutor for middle and high school students during the season, revealed his "bags were packed" as what he thought would be an exit interview turned into his first NBA deal.

"It was supposed to be an exit interview. I was prepared to go in there and talk about our G League season, and my bags were already packed I was supposed to leave the next afternoon I think," he explained.

"Talking to the coaches and we're having an interview like normal, then Rob [Pelinka, general manager] and Magic [Johnson, president of basketball operations] walk in and I knew something was up at that point.

"When Rob and Magic walked in, all the emotions you could think, I was like, 'This could be it.' I hadn't checked out mentally yet because I don't do that until I get home. It was amazing, it was everything you could think it was."

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