Life comes at you fast and did so in lightning-like fashion Sunday night for all of Jazz Nation as Joe Ingles went down with an injury during the the second quarter of action.
What appeared frightening in real-time as Joe crumbled to the floor with a non-contact, left-leg knee injury turned sickening when the feared diagnosis was the worst.
Earlier today (Monday), a scheduled MRI in Salt Lake confirmed Ingles to have a torn ACL in his left knee, thus ending his season.
Well wishes throughout the NBA rained down on Joe since the event:
☕️— Ryan Smith (@RyanQualtrics) January 31, 2022
. ☕ ☕— Travis Lincoln Cox (@TravLCox) January 31, 2022
☕ @Joeingles7 ☕
get well soon
All of Jazz Nation mourns the awful turn of events that left hampered one of the most beloved Jazz men and unique characters of the franchise’s history. In fact, it’s with this love that many dread the impending future.
Ingles, age 34, was on the final year of his contract. By season end, Joe will be an unrestricted free agent and just a couple months removed from ACL surgery. The unfortunate timing of such a devastating injury calls into question every aspect of Joe’s NBA future.
Will he return to the Jazz? When would he even play next year? Will he have opportunities throughout the NBA? Or will he just up and retire?
While such dark speculation feels almost par for the course amid the gloomiest month the Jazz have had in years, we can’t allow ourselves to dwell on such thoughts. We should instead, celebrate all that Joe is for this team, just as Donovan is:
The moment I came into training camp my rookie year thinking he was just an old dude and he kicked my ass and I was thinking how the hell this old ass dude is killin me like this— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 31, 2022
Let’s put aside the championship aspirations, the good and bad numbers, the injuries, the trade deadline, and the All-Star break. Let’s put it all aside and celebrate Joseph Howarth Ingles.
Long, lanky Aussie from Happy Valley, Australia.
Rising star in the NBL and World Cup.
Undrafted player still angling for an NBA spot.
Continued success internationally, bagging two FIBA titles.
Cut by the Clippers, picked up by the Jazz.
Bench bomber turned PnR maestro.
Held NBA longest active streak for consecutive games played.
Pushed fellow teammate Jordan Clarkson to the brink for 6MOY.
Even such an incredible story turned list as above cannot do it justice. Let’s break down 5 incredible Joe Ingles moments, not in a eulogistic fashion but in homage to one of Utah’s best everything.
Joe Ingles has made a name for himself in the NBA as one of the league’s best 3P threats. Over 2,600 career bombs at 40.8% efficiency will do that! But such reputation had humble beginnings.
Joe’s early career featured a pure catch and shoot jumper. Seriously, that’s the only jump shot he had. It was slow, low and deadly.
Ingles, though, evolved, quickened the release, raised his motion, and turned into a pullup 3 sniper. Take a look below at Joe Ingles making a name for himself over the years.
Last year, on January 29th, Joe Ingles overtook John Stockton for the most 3-pointers made in franchise history. Today, Joe Ingles holds a comfortable lead over all former Jazz men at 1,071 made buckets from distance.
Joe will forever remain the face of the 3P revolution for the Utah Jazz.
Joe Ingles had solidified his name as a 3P specialist by the time the 2018 Playoffs rolled around, but was still very much considered a system roll player.
The Utah Jazz were set to square off with a star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder team with length and athleticism throughout the team. Joe Ingles was an unlikely star in that series, beginning a legacy of trash talk and psychological war fare with Paul George.
While Donovan Mitchell’s offensive breakout, Rudy Gobert’s defensive presence, and Ricky Rubio’s peskiness towards Westbrook were major components of that series, Joe played a big part on both ends to distract George from the real battle.
Utah Jazz stunned an OKC team that would divest their star players just one year later.
Joe Ingles began to really round out his game over the past 3 seasons, diversifying his game as an off the bounce shooter, navigating the PnR, developing his passing, and planning excellent system defense.
All that was on display one Monday night to start the 2018-19 season! Having just come off tying a then career high of 27 points against the Boston Celtics, Joe Ingles waltzed into Memphis and had it all going against the Grizzlies.
The 3 was cooking, the drive was there, the PnR fakes were rounding into form. But late in the ball game, as the Grizzlies were making a push, Joe Ingles head cracked open and legend was born.
“Headband Joe” was taped up, sporting the headband to keep the bandage in place (remember this was the first headband seen on a Jazz player in decades given the team rule had yet to be rescinded).
Joe would go on to score or assist on 7 of the final 8 points for the Jazz in the final three in a half minutes. One of the all time nicknames (and Utah Jazz memes) was born on a night where Joe Ingles took over, bloodied and bandaged.
It’s no secret how passionate Joe Ingles is about basketball. His story speaks volumes for the competitor he is and the work he’s put in to be as great as he is.
But for Joe, what truly matters is his family and the issues that permeate society. It’s one of the reasons Ingles has transcended the game and become a household icon in Utah.
Early in 2019, Joe and Renae Ingles opened up about their family’s journey with autism in a piece entitled “For Jacob”, their then 2-year-old son.
The Ingles family took the challenge head on, not just for themselves, but in building a network for individuals and families to receive autism support and resources.
Since then Joe and Renae have partnered with organizations to raise autism awareness, train first responders, and provide resources throughout the world.
An amazing culmination of that work was seen during Autism Awareness month in 2020, where the home of the Utah Jazz, Vivint Arena, debuted a sensory room and staff certification to aid families with autistic members.
All of Jazz Nation banded together to spread awareness and love for those with autism. The Jazz won, for Jacob, but we all won because Joe and Renae maintained perspective and helped us all understand our true why.
The Australian National team had zero Olympic medals to their name despite 14 appearances in the summer games prior to Tokoyo 2021.
Back in 2008, several young Boomers began making names for themselves and inspiring hope in the program, these being Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, and Joe Ingles.
But the years weren’t kind to the Boomers.
Bogut suffered career altering injuries. Exciting youngsters Dante Exum and Ben Simmons dealt with injuries and ego respectively, unable and unwilling to led support. Australia lost in Rio de Janeiro 2016 in heartbreaking fashion in the semi-finals, thus losing out on a medal.
The window for Mills, Ingles, Dellavedova, and Baynes was coming to a close. It was Tokoyo 2021 or...who knows when.
Despite many ups and downs throughout the process, including drawing USA, the Ingles-Mills led Boomers prevailed in the Bronze medal game against superstar Luka Doncic and the Slovenian National team.
Joe Ingles averaged 11 points, 5 boards, and 4 assists while shooting 40% from deep during the Olympics to help secure Australia’s first ever Olympic medal.
As much a hero as Joe Ingles is to us fans domestically, he’s a hero in his home country showing what national pride and honor means, no matter the price.
Joe Ingles is more than any five moments, but looking back on who Joe is should dominate our minds and hearts during this tough time.
Joe’s work ethic, determination, and motivations have proven to overcome incredible obstacles, from scouts saying he’s not good enough, to teams saying they don’t want him, to superstars saying he doesn’t belong, to autism, to the Olympic giants throughout the world. He’s overcome time and again.
Will he come back and how remains to be seen. But Joe has nothing to prove; he’s earned that and more. We love you Joe!