Dan Woike asked NBA players to tell us about the best game in their basketball career. This week: Joe Ingles.
May 18, 2014: Maccabi Tel Aviv 98, Real Madrid 86
0 points, 0-2 FTs, 1 rebound, 3 fouls
The Utah Jazz forward had the perfect answer for his style of play. One of the NBA’s best at handling the dirty work, the hard-nosed Aussie might be the only guy in the NBA to say his best game ever was one when he was held scoreless. Ingles, who was the Clippers’ final cut in training camp in 2014, caught on with Utah, where he’s been a critical role player for the last six seasons. Now, his favorite games are when his children can come to the arena. Before? It was the combination of winning a championship while his NBA future was pending.
“The one that automatically comes to mind — and winning helps as well, but it was more the guys I did it with — was winning the EuroLeague with Maccabi. It’s not like I knew, but I was hoping that would be my last season in Europe. And then to do it with the guys I did it with, who I still speak to them daily, it was probably one of the closest teams I’ve ever been on. And to win the EuroLeague, we weren’t supposed to that year because of our budget and whatever else, that was unreal. That was one of those teams where I didn’t know anyone on the team when I got there. ‘Hey, I’m Joe,’ to 15 different guys. It was just one of those things that clicked. We knew a couple weeks in that we’re really ... good. I still remember, I was standing on the court hoping I would never have to come back again. As good as the feeling was, I was so ready to move on. It was a nice way to close the door on that part of my career.”