After nearly a year on the sidelines, Aussie Joe Ingles made his return to the court in the Milwaukee Bucks’ 128-119 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Ingles has been out since suffering a torn ACL on January 30 while playing for the Utah Jazz and after being traded to the Portland Trail Blazers shortly after, he signed with the Bucks as a free agent in the off-season, coming back ahead of schedule to make his debut.
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The Aussie logged 15 minutes in his season debut, going scoreless on 0-of-4 shooting, recording one rebound, one steal, and two assists.
His best moment of the game came early in the second quarter, finding Giannis Antetokounmpo for the alley-oop out of the pick-and-roll, reminiscent of his partnership in Utah with big man Rudy Gobert.
— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) December 20, 2022
“It was honestly just nice to be out there and get a couple of reps in,” he said at half-time.
“It’s obviously going for me a little quick right now and I’m just trying to get that flow but it’s just obviously nice to be out there with the guys and kind of see what I hoped for when I signed.”
The addition of Ingles gives the Bucks another experienced voice in the locker room and a proven playoff performer, with his playmaking and shooting sure to come in handy once the postseason arrives.
“It’s so great to have Joe on the court for us, so great to have Joe in our program and playing,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said postgame.
“Credit to him, his work to get to his point, the amount of time and effort he’s put in all summer, all during September, the preseason, the regular season, just phenomenal work by Joe Ingles, I couldn’t be more impressed by him.”
It’s a big win for us to get Joe in jersey and get Joe playing.
As noted by @NBLfacts, Ingles today became the oldest Australian to ever play in an NBA game at 35 years and 79 days.
Joe Ingles is the first 35 year old Australian ever to play in the NBA. (636th game)
Oldest 🇦🇺 players in their last NBA game:
35-079 J Ingles
34-197 A Bogut
34-158 A Baynes
34-121 P Mills
33-253 A Gaze
33-070 S Heal
32-099 M Dellavedova
32-026 L Longley@Bucks #FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/x5uDYENJjf
— NBLfacts (@nblfacts) December 20, 2022
Ingles and the Bucks are back in action on Thursday as the Bucks visit the Cleveland Cavaliers, live on NBA league Pass from 11:00 a.m. AEDT.