Two seasons ago the Los Angeles Lakers had perhaps the best feel-good story to end their season, Kobe Bryant, after 20 years with the franchise, retired wearing the purple-and-gold with a 60-point game to leave as his last performance, walking into the sunset with what’s perhaps the most iconic last game in NBA history.
Fast forward to last week, and the Lakers gave a 32-year-old rookie; Andre Ingram, his debut chance, setting the Staples Center alight with a 19-point performance off the bench — setting up a storyline of persistence and determination.
The franchise is now hopeful that his short stint with the team will continue, as general manager Rob Pelinka hopes he sticks around to make next year’s roster.
“The other big philosophy of Jeanie Buss is once a Laker, always a Laker,” Pelinka said, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge. “We had our (real) exit meetings and we just said ‘we want you around here. We want you in our building, continuing to work. Your spirit is so inspirational to all of us, the way you work.’ We’ll kind of let it unfold and see how happens, but definitely want him to stay close.”
A dynamic player, Ingram could find a spot at point guard or shooting guard next season, according to how the chips fall with the signing of free agents.