Ryan Aston , 2019-08-21 04:04:05
Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum is branching out into franchise ownership. Also — Joe Ingles reveals the zany details of his first pro contract negotiation.
After five years and more than 200 DNPs — the brunt of which came as a result of some catastrophic injury or another — Utah Jazz fans still find themselves waiting for Dante Exum to make big moves on the basketball court. Exum obviously has all the physical tools, but he just can’t seem to stay on the floor.
Despite the inactivity during his Jazz career, Exum is still making moves off the floor, though, and I’m not just talking about his latest rehab project. This week, the former No. 5 overall pick officially into the owner’s box of his own pro hoops franchise.
Per an announcement from the Australian NBL, the Jazz guard is officially joining the ownership group of the South East Melbourne Phoenix, an expansion team that will be a part of the league’s competition next season.
He joins an ownership group headed up Swansea City AFC co-owner Romie Chaudhari.
Exum, of course, is an East Melbourne product, and was stoked at the prospect of helping to bring pro basketball and the NBL to the place that was so formative in his own journey.
Via NBL.com.au —
“Melbourne has played a key role in my basketball journey and the chance to be involved in the ownership group of the SEM Phoenix is a perfect way to further that strong connection with the city. I look forward to seeing the continued growth of the NBL and much success and excitement for the team and the city of Melbourne.”
Although they’ve yet to play their first game, the Phoenix have already made a splash in the NBL, inking 2018 All-NBL Second Team honoree (and former Jazz summer leaguer) Mitch Creek to a deal.
Exum’s team will tip-off its innaugural campaign on October 3 against Melbourne United at Melbourne Arena.
Joe Ingles was nearly “Joseph Inlges” ??
At this point, even hoops fans outside of the Beehive State know well the tale of Joe Ingles‘ inauspicious beginnings in the NBA. But if you’re among the uninitiated, Slow Mo’ Joe was in his late 20s and making his final play for a gig in the Association when the LA Clippers cut him during the preseason.
After that, Ingles was about to throw in the towel on his NBA dreams when the Jazz suddenly came calling.
From there, he went from being an end-of-the-bench guy to an emergency injury fill-in to a key backup and spot starter, all the way up the line to Utah’s full-time starting small forward spot, legit sharpshooter cred and underdog/cult hero status.
It’s a crazy story if ever there was one, but apparently Ingles’ basketball journey was crazy right from Jump Street, i.e. when he was a teenager negotiating his first pro contract.
The Jazzman and his wife, netballer Renae Ingles, made an appearance on The Howie Games podcast last week and gave all the sordid details of his dealings with his hometown club, the Adelaide 36ers. Believe me when I say they are wild.
Apparently, the 36ers didn’t know his actual name and wanted to pay him less than the minimum allowable salary.
Said Ingles —
“I went into a meeting with them; I had my agent, my dad. And this was — to the 36ers’ credit now — old management, old general manager. They’ve moved on from that. But I got offered a contract that was below the minimum. Whatever the minimum was, 20 grand or whatever, it was way below the minimum.
“As my agent and my dad were looking over the contract, I was like, ‘That’s a bit weird’. My name was spelled wrong on the contract and I was like, ‘Ah, maybe it’s not as thought-out as you thought’. We thought they really wanted to have me. They misspelled my last name, so it was like I-N-L-G-E-S or something. Which is maybe just a typo, everyone does it, we’ve all done it. But if you’re trying to recruit someone that’s from your hometown.”
Ouch. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The 36ers also envisioned Ingles playing power forward and center — as a 17-year-old kid standing 6-foot-3. Also — there was no guarantee he would even play; Ingles (or Inlges, as it were) would have been one of 15 guys vying for 10 spots on game days.
Clearly, Adelaide missed the boat in a big, bad way with Joe.
You can check out part one of the Ingles’ two-part pod episode HERE.