Joe Ingles: Underdog

Who is Joe Ingles? The Australian-born NBA player is becoming a star. Among the most recognizable players for the modern Utah Jazz roster, this top-shelf baller has more success coming his way.

Beginning of the 8 Mile Road

In his early years, Ingles grew up in Adelaide, Australia. As a kid, he dropped his two other sports, cricket and Australian rules football, in order to fulfill his dream to play NBL basketball for the Adelaide 36ers. When he received an offer at just 17, the 36ers organization misspelled his name, which turned Ingles away. Now he begins making a name for himself.

In 2006, Joe signed with the South Dragons of Melbourne. During this time of his life, Ingles is like a young Marshall Mathers in his own 8 Mile. Maybe the rap career option isn’t yet out of the picture for him? Nonetheless, Ingles needs to make some noise in the league. Over 3 seasons for the Dragons, he averaged 14.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. During his third and last season with the team, Joe helped lead them to their first championship in the 2008-’09 season. But, after some financial struggles, the Dragons were forced to part ways, thus pushing Ingles to his next overseas endeavor. No, the front office didn’t have an affair on him, but he sure was let down in the dismemberment of the organization.

In 2009 Ingles started bouncing around (no basketball pun intended). He eventually landed in FC Barcelona, playing in the top professional Spanish basketball league. After a 3 year contract, he transferred to the Maccabi Tel Aviv to play internationally. Ingles led the team to take home the 2013-’14 Euroleague championship. Preliminary to the final show.

The Final Show?

The Ingles family moved to the states after that season, where Joe spent the NBA preseason with the Los Angeles Clippers. He then was acquired by the Utah Jazz in late October, where he started the most fruitful chapter of his career. When given consistent playing time, the Aussie was able to make an effort in impacting his new team, but seemed to be robbed of the spotlight. Often time when Ingles made a career high, the team lost. In the ‘16-’17 season, Ingles scored a career-high 20 in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Then, in a loss to the Warriors later that season, he notched one more point to his previous career-high, and hit a career-high five three-pointers. He’s performing to an honest standard, but still remained insufficient.

Ingles was playing efficiently but his team kept losing. This changed in the ‘17-’18 season. He notched career highs in points, assists, scored his first double-double all in wins over teams including the Warriors, Pacers, Blazers, and Lakers. In the playoffs this season, he recorded many 20+ point games, and helped the Jazz to clinch playoff games against the Lakers and Thunder.

Yet to see his final judging moment in the playoffs, Ingles has it made. He’s a strong staple for Utah, and he’s continuing to prove himself to the league. Will he be able to overcome himself in a finals appearance, and pull through for his team? Or will his career end in disappointment?

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