Australian NBA star Joe Ingles has revealed he will most likely only play for a Melbourne team if he returns to the NBL when his Utah Jazz contract finishes in two seasons.
Ingles also put team ownership on his radar for the future, revealing he turned down an approach from a party that was in contention for the Hawks license.
The 32-year-old swingman reaffirmed his desire to finish his career where it started in 2006 with the South Dragons on the ‘Gibbo Goes One on One’ NBL Podcast with Phoenix guard Adam Gibson.
Ingles, who has a house in bayside Melbourne, said the lure of playing with his wife, Renae and twins, Jacob and Milla, watching on was hugely appealing.
“But as boring as it is, I’d probably only play in Melbourne unless someone did some high-level recruiting,” Ingles said.
“I’ve always said that I would love to finish in the NBL.
“It is where I started, and it would be awesome to finish in front of family and friends.
“By then, who knows what age I will be, but having the twins at whatever age really understanding basketball.
“To have them in the crowd regardless is awesome, but to have them hanging around would be really cool.
“The thing that gets me, as well, is that I have two more years (with Utah) and I’ll be 35 at the end of that.
“Obviously, I’m not getting any quicker, slower or athletic so that is not going to change anyway.”
Joe Ingles playing for the Souths Dragons during his first stint in the NBL as an emerging player. Picture: Supplied.Source:News Limited
Ingles said his son Jacob’s ongoing battle with autism would play a major role in if and when he returns to Australia.
His son was diagnosed in 2019 and the Jazz star and his wife have devoted endless hours to his treatment and autism awareness.
“The thing that would keep us in the States longer, even if I wasn’t playing, is Jacob’s therapy,” he said.
“It is so good here (in America) and by that point he will be six by the end of my contract.
“If they say he is ready to go into mainstream school, which is a goal, then yeah we would probably come back.
“A lot of it now is depending on what my family want to do. What Renae wants to do and what the twins want to do.
“I want to have a stable professional career as possible, which is obviously hard to do.”
Basketball star Joe Ingles and wife Renee with their twins Milla and Jacob in Marvel Stadiums new Sensory Room. . Pic: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia
Ingles raised the prospect of moving in to ownership in the NBL too,, having knocked back that recent approach because it wasn’t the right time.
“But I wouldn’t mind getting involved in a team one day and we’ve talked about it a little bit,” he said.
“I think if I was involved in that I would want to be hands on and be there, and especially being an ex-player help the guys on the court.
“I obviously wouldn’t step on coaching. If you hire a coach, I believe you should let them do their job.
“I definitely would be involved somehow, whether that is playing, part-owner or owner.
“I’m very lucky what basketball has given me, so I’d love to give back.”
Ingles’ chat on the ‘Gibbo Goes One on One’ podcast will be available from 6.30pm on Wednesday night.
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