Last night was a night that Joe Ingles will always remember.
Not just because he helped his team get a critical win with playoff seeding on the line.
Not because it was against the Lakers.
Not even because he had a career-high 14 assists and was one rebound shy of being the first Jazz man to record a triple-double in the regular season in the last decade.
Last night was different.
Inspired by Joe and Renae Ingles and the recent diagnoses of their son Jacob, the Utah Jazz hosted “Autism Awareness Night” in their game against the Los Angeles Lakers. There were also several things circulating around building up to the game, and afterwards, that made this night one to remember for Joe, and for all of us.
Aaron Falk, writer for UtahJazz.com, published an incredible article about the Ingles family and how they have grown together the last little several months, and how they plan to help families everywhere increase awareness for autism.
Reading this article and Joe’s words, watching these videos of him talking about this situation: there’s just one thing that keeps popping back into my head: Joe Ingles is so real. There is zero percent of him that is for show, or trying to create any type of false impressions. He’s 100 percent open and honest about how hard this has been for him personally, dealing with personal and family issues while trying to focus on his job as a professional basketball player. He straight up talks about how he didn’t want to go to practice or games, because of how hard things were for him at certain points. He mentioned how he would call coach Quin Snyder crying, just to talk about what was going on, and how amazing Quin was in dealing with everything.It really makes you think back to those games during January when Joe just looked exhausted. Looked like he had nothing left in the tank. And now, we know why. The Ingles family is now not just dealing with their own family growth and challenges, they are trying to make a difference in other people’s lives that have Autistic loved ones as well. Joe and Renae are a true inspiration, and they are going to change lives by the things they have done in recent weeks and going forward.
Ingles’ teammates also showed their support for Autism awareness, some sporting custom made shoes by the guru Kickstramodis.
In January, Joe Ingles' 2-year-old son Jacob was diagnosed with autism.— ESPN (@espn) March 28, 2019
Tonight is #AutismAwareness for the Jazz and @Joeingles7, @spidadmitchell, @rickyrubio9 and other Jazz players are wearing custom sneakers to support (via @utahjazz, @Kickstradomis) pic.twitter.com/4AeyRYWUGP
It’s awesome to see these guys come together to support Joe and his family like this. It makes it that much more special to root for a team that has this type of camaraderie and brotherhood.
Joe also caught up with an old pal, and included other children with autism as much as possible during pregame festivities.
from #AutismAwareness Night as Joe Ingles visits with Landon Carter (remember the gift goggles to improve his sight), brings youth onto court for warm-ups and stands with National Anthem buddies with autism. #LetsTalkAboutAutism #DoingGood #ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/2UqbTGkB9l— Utah Jazz Doing Good (@JazzDoingGood) March 28, 2019
Before the fourth quarter of last night’s game, the Jazz took a moment to honor some special guests, as well as presenting a considerable donation to the Autism Community.
What a special night for everyone involved. It’s what makes sports to amazing. The impact that a simple game can have on people’s lives, all because Joe and Renae Ingles decided that they wanted to help others. It’s amazing stuff, really.
Last but not least, Joe Ingles played one heck of a ball game last night. He finished with 11 points, 14 assists (career high), and 9 rebounds, coming up just one board shy of a triple-double. There was still several minutes remaining when Quin Snyder pulled Ingles from the floor in the blowout win, and the crowd let him hear it. They started a “WE WANT JOE” chant , of which caught both Snyder and Ingles’ attention.
Joe Ingles purposely not getting one more rebound to troll all of us, then smirking is the most on brand thing for Joe Ingles ever. pic.twitter.com/kh7628Hbr1— Stephen (@TakeNote__) March 28, 2019
Joe Ingles’ reaction is a classic. The man really could not care any less about individual accolades or milestones. Jae crowder told us what Ingles actually said, and it shows how chill Joe Ingles really is.
Jae Crowder, on trying to convince Jingles to stay in the game: "We felt like it was a special night for Joe, and to top it off with a triple-double would have been even more special for him. But Joe don’t care! He was like, ‘I’m sitting down. Are we winning? I’m good.'" pic.twitter.com/7cCMSzfklR— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 28, 2019
Quin Snyder also talked post-game about what last night meant for Joe and himself, and how much Joe means to to team.
Quin Snyder, on Joe Ingles’ big night pic.twitter.com/6o78Q5Wgws— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) March 28, 2019
There’s nobody in the world like Joe Ingles. Think about it. Think about his story, his journey to the NBA, his style of play, his personality, his trash talk, etc. And now we have this incredible, personal story and experience with Autism to add to it. Joe is just the best. He’s so easy to root for. It makes it so fun as a fan to see him succeed and lead the Jazz to the playoffs for another run. Win or lose, we have Joe Ingles, and that’s always a big W in my book.