UTAH JAZZ

Twitter Sports: Joe Ingles Is ‘Most Exciting’ International Player

Aug 21, 2019, 3:54 PM | Updated: Sep 1, 2019, 5:59 pm
Joe Ingles #2 of the Utah Jazz drives around the defense of James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets...
Joe Ingles #2 of the Utah Jazz drives around the defense of James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in the first half during Game Three of Round Two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 4, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah.(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The official profile for Twitter’s main sports account has responded to a question posed by SLAM Online asking who is the most exciting international NBA player participating in the 2019 World Cup.

Their answer: Joe Ingles from the Utah Jazz.

“The answer is always Joe Ingles,” they tweeted to their 15.3 million followers.

Online basketball publication SLAM Online asked their 804,000 Twitter followers which international NBA players they were most excited to watch in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

The options they gave were Greece’s Giannis Antetokoumpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Serbia’s Nikola Jokić (Denver Nuggets), Turkey’s Cedi Osman (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Australia’s Joe Ingles with the Utah Jazz.

 

Ingles’ play on the international circuit

The small forward has certainly become a fan favorite in Utah heading into his sixth season with the Jazz. He was selected to represent his home team, Australia, during the World Cup. It’s his third selection to the World Cup squad. 

Ingles has also donned the Australian national colors for three Olympic games and five other international competitions.

He was a key contributor for his country’s basketball team during the 2016 Beijing Summer Olympic Games when they missed out on a medal, finishing fourth with a loss to the eventual gold medalist USA squad 116-85. During their loss to eventual winner TeamUSA, Ingles scored 11 points without missing a shot.

In 2010, during his first World Cup experience with the Boomers (the nickname for the Australian National Team), he posted averages of 10.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in six games. Four years later in the 2014 World Cup, Ingles improved those stats with averages of 11.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists in six contests.

The native of Adelaide, Australia, first joined the Utah Jazz in 2014 after playing professionally in Australia and overseas in Europe. The small forward has increased his production for the Jazz each of the last four seasons.

Ingles’ individual improvement has aligned with the increased success the organization has had as well. The Jazz have made the playoffs each of the past three seasons after missing the postseason during Ingles’ first two years in Salt Lake.

Expectations for Joe Ingles & the ‘Boomers’

The Boomers look to rebound from their fourth-place finish in Beijing, when they face off against Canada on September 1 in their first game of the 2019 World Cup.

“Losing the (third place game) sucked, but we’ve never been that close in years. Now it’s about putting it all together,” Ingles stated in an interview with FIBA in early August. “It’s going to be exciting. We’ll have a lot of support there, and hopefully we can be the first team to bring a medal back to Australia.”

The other teams in Australia’s group are Canada, Lithuania, and Senegal. The World Cup format begins with 32 teams separated into eight groups. Each team plays the other three members of their group. The top two teams from each of the eight groups will then move on as members of four groups of four teams. A bracket of the remaining teams is then created and teams play each other in a single-elimination format until one team remains.

The Australian National Team will be without the Jazz’s other Aussie, Dante Exum, as he continues to rehabilitate from a right knee injury he suffered during the NBA season. Exum has had two appearances for his country’s squad. He averaged 2.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in six games during the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

Why Ingles is exciting

Ingles has become a social media sensation from his appearances as “Headband Joe” to his work on autism awareness, in addition to his scrappy, blue collar-like mentality on the hardwood.

The fanbase in Utah has shown him love and he’s shown it back. In January 2019, Ingles made a three-point shot with Pistons forward Blake Griffin defending him. After making the buckets he immediately turned to someone in the crowd and blew them a kiss.

One reason Jazz fans love him is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and puts his heart into the game. When the Jazz played the Memphis Grizzlies in November 2018, Ingles received a cut on his head that required a bandage to be wrapped like a headband around his head. After receiving medical attention Ingles went back into the game and drilled a three as “Headband Joe”.

Ingles knows when it’s time to get back on defense and has not been afraid to play physical with the NBA’s elite players. During the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Jazz were up two games to one against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He gave the Jazz momentum heading into halftime as he made a big three-point shot and proceeded to get back on defense against one of the NBA’s best in OKC’s Paul George. The Jazz would go on to win the game and take a 3-1 series lead.

Other current/former Jazz players on World Cup rosters

Other members of the Utah Jazz participating in international basketball right now include Rudy Gobert (France) and Donovan Mitchell (USA).

Gobert is a star on the French National Team. In his international career, he’s helped France with two bronze medals, one at the 2014 FIBA World Cup and another at 2015 European Championships. During the 2015 tourney, he averaged 10.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocked shots. Gobert was also a member of the French team that lost in the quarterfinals in the 2016 Olympics. He is entering his seventh season with the Jazz.

Mitchell is the first member of the Utah Jazz to participate with Team USA since Gordon Hayward in 2016. This is his first experience with basketball at an international level. The USA team is undefeated with NBA players since taking the bronze in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Mitchell is entering year three of his young NBA career. He’s played all three seasons with the Jazz.


MORE:


Former Jazz guard Ricky Rubio will be participating with Spain. Rubio signed a deal with the Phoenix Suns earlier this summer.

The 2019 FIBA World Cup will take place in China from August 31 to September 15.

 

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Twitter Sports: Joe Ingles Is ‘Most Exciting’ International Player