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English, former Barça: Madrid’s executioner to succeed in Utah

Last summer was questioned after renewing for 52 million and 4 seasons. Months later, the Australian shines with Ricky in the NBA team of the moment.

At the beginning of last July, few understood the multi-million dollar renovation offer (52 million dollars for four seasons) that the Jazz extended to Joe Ingles. Almost nobody gave credit. The bad tongues pointed out that this was the toll that had to be paid to ensure the continuity of Gordon Hayward. Both share agent, Mark Bartelstein, and maintain an excellent friendship. Because of an injury Hayward has gone blank his first campaign in Boston. And Joe is no longer known in the NBA world as Hayward’s friend. Joker and fun, his competitiveness has allowed him to make a name in the League.

In a report published on ESPN, Dennis Lindsey, the man who extended the offer and general manager of the franchise, says he is one of the top ten NBA forward. “To say that to a casual observer of the NBA would be heresy, but we know what we have,” he explains. The passage of time has shown that Utah was not wrong with this Australian born in Adelaide, Australia, on October 30, 1987. At 30 years and after signing his best season in the NBA with 11.5 points, 4.2 rebounds , 4.8 assists and 1.1 steals the friend tag has been left behind. He is now one of the best outside shooters in the competition. An accomplished triplist (with 44% success, accredits the fourth best percentage of this regular season among those who try a minimum of two triples per night and have played at least 50 games) able to establish the best score of his career (27 points) and sign the Jazz record for the most triples in a playoff game (7, of 9 attempts) on the same night that his team stormed the Houston pillbox to tie the tie to one without his starting point and two Rookies as holders.

Ricky Rubio said a few weeks ago in an interview in this newspaper that the Jazz are not the typical NBA team. He is absolutely right. Proof of this is this aussie with the appearance of serious (when they tell him that his appearance resembles that of a teacher bursting with laughter: he became a professional in his native country at age 17 in part because of his poor academic performance) and a reputation of slow defender. “It was motivating me to work harder, I’m not going to let them embarrass me,” he says in the cited Tim McMahon article on ESPN recalling how he felt in his rookie campaign that rival bases and bodyguards were looking for a change in defense to stay with him and attack the hoop.

An NBA that arrived in 2014 after opening first step in his native Australia. Despite not playing in Adelaida’s 36ers, his childhood team and a dream (“I wanted to play there more than anything in my childhood”) that he does not rule out before retiring, in 2007 he was named Rookie of the Year in the local league (NBL), competition that won in 2009 in the ranks of the South Dragons. After shining and making his debut with the Boomers – the nickname of the Australian national team – at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, in the summer of 2009 he made the leap to Europe. His first choice was the United States, where he played that year and in 2010 the Summer League with the Warriors. No luck, but in Las Vegas the doors of Granada opened. Julián Aranda, general director of the Nazari club, was the architect of his signing. After a brilliant 2009-10 campaign in his debut in the ACB, Gianluca Basile’s injury allowed his arrival to Barcelona just started the following season. This left-handed forward left some 400,000 euros in the box of the Granada, an amount that never came to be charged when seized by the Treasury due to financial problems.

The Andalusian club disappeared shortly after, but Ingles continued its path in the reigning European champion. With a substitute role, in Pascual’s Barcelona he spent the next three seasons. In the first one he coincided with Ricky Rubio before embarking on his American adventure. There began the friendship with his now partner in Utah, with whom he shared a room for Spain and the Old Continent in 2010-11. “His accent was fun,” Rubio explains about his particular Aussie accent in an interview with him in English.

After winning the Supercopa 2011 and the ACB 2012, the Australian declined the renewal offer of Barcelona to sign for Maccabi in the summer of 2013. With the Catalans he played two Final Four of the Euroleague, but he stayed with the honey on his lips . With the Israelis and under the command of David Blatt, he conquered the European Cup in the final against a Real Madrid whose advent of the Laso era had embittered him in his last years in Spain, but not in Milan.

With the European champion vitola, he landed in the Clippers in the summer of 2014. The intention of the Angelenos was to keep him on the roster heading into the 2014-15 season, but an injury to Jordan Farmar (substitute Chris Paul ) in the last game of the season he did that, despite the refusal of Doc Rivers to do so, the franchise will cut him. A bad drink that had to digest at the same time as his wife Renae Ingles, star of netball (“a strange Australian sport similar to basketball but unable to bounce”, in the words of English itself), was getting on a plane in Australia on course to the Angels. “Hi, honey, I’ve lost my job, what do you want to do?” She asked him when she found herself at the hotel. “When she told me about it, I felt a great pain in my heart. All the hard work I had worked for that opportunity … “, explains Renae, who gave up her professional career prematurely for Joe in 2017. The reason, the distance” We needed to live under the same roof. The decision was not easy. It took me a lot to say goodbye to my career because I was still physically fit, “continues the 31-year-old woman whose maiden name is Hallinan.The couple married in Adelaide on January 29, 2015. A year later, her twins, a girl and child.

48 hours later, the Jazz claimed their services offering a non-guaranteed contract. He gained the trust of Quin Snyder and Lindsey. Not only did the 2014-15 season end, but at the end of the table they put a new multi-year contract on the table. At the end of December 2016 he scored the triple winner of Utah on the horn against the Lakers at Staples. That same season, in the playoffs, he consummated his particular revenge with the Clippers winning on that same stage in the seventh game of the first round of 2017. “It was like closing the door, I would not have to talk about the Clippers anymore,” he admits. .

Months later came his controversial and million-dollar renewal as a free agent and the reunion with Ricky. “We may have been criticized for the length and amount of the agreement, but we wanted Joe and his family, we trusted him, we knew what kind of person and leader he is, we value his intelligence very much,” explains Lindsey. When he renewed, Hayward was among the first to congratulate him. “Make sure your ass is also back,” he replied. His efforts were in vain.

The Hayward era came to an end. What was about to happen, nobody could imagine. Joe Ingles has become a key player in the gear of the great history of the season in the NBA: the Utah Jazz. As defined by Gobert, “a smart basketball player with a big mouth and an Australian accent”. Joe Ingles, the triumph of perseverance.

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