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Kobe Bryant reacts to Andre Ingram’s NBA debut

Andre Ingram, Kobe Bryant

Andre Ingram’s debut with the Los Angeles Lakers was the feel-good story that a nerve-wracking end-of-season stretch so badly needed. The 32-year-old rookie lit up the Staples Center, finishing with 19 points, three rebounds, three blocks, and a steal on a flowing 29 minutes on the floor.

Ingram had spent a decade in the D League (now the G League) and got his first shot to play in the NBA after many years of waiting, going 6-of-8 from the field, 4-of-5 from deep, and a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line.

His debut game highlight reel didn’t take long to catch the attention of franchise icon Kobe Bryant, who summed up his thoughts on two capitalized words.

The Lakers’ rookies have managed to flourish no matter when they take the court, with pleasant surprises like Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart, and now an eager Ingram, who will make $26,000 for playing in the last two games of the season.

Teams around the league that aren’t playoff-bound have signed their best G League players for the remaining of the season as a way to reward them for their efforts, given that an NBA paycheck is many times over what they make for their affiliate teams.