Andre Ingram had to grind for 10 seasons in the G League before getting his NBA shot, but he looked like he belonged in his debut Tuesday.
Ingram was hot for the Lakers, scoring 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting while adding three rebounds and an assist.
The 32-year-old guard suited up for LA after previous stops with the Utah Flash, Los Angeles D-Fenders and South Bay Lakers.
Ingram spoke to the New York Times before the game and was adamant he wouldn't change his style of play for the higher level.
“They know me very well, they’ve seen me the last couple years, so they know what I do and they know how I play,” said Ingram.
“That’s the goal: be who I am.”
The Staples Center crowd cheered loudly for Ingram when he entered late in the first quarter, and Rockets star Chris Paul also showed love.
"They know that this dream is coming true right now for Andre Ingram." pic.twitter.com/VlSDecuLul— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 11, 2018
Ingram is a career 46 percent 3 -point shooter in the G League, and that form carried over into the NBA as he nailed his first attempt from deep.
The call-up came as a shock for Ingram, who thought he was heading to an exit interview before South Bay Lakers general manager Nick Mazzella dropped the big news.
You stay on the grind and at the end of your 10th year, you finally get the call.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 10, 2018
Andre Ingram never stopped persevering and now his @NBA dream is a reality. #ThisIsWhyWePlay #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/1SZhc5SW7k
Ingram will have another opportunity to face NBA competition when the Lakers close out their season at Staples vs. the Clippers on Wednesday night.