New Orleans • There’s a somewhat legendary story from a prior season that’s been making the rounds recently, involving Jazz forward Joe Ingles and Jazz owner Gail Miller. So ESPN’s Zach Lowe tracked Ingles down and asked him about it. Here’s what happened, in Ingles’ words from the podcast.
“She sits courtside, as you do as an owner. I dove for a loose ball — cause I just do all the extra hard yards and and do everything that I can to get my team a win... At the time I didn’t realize obviously who I had fallen into. I fell in and I saw the ball get back in. I ran down the court and we scored and everyone was happy.”
Quin Snyder, though, was concerned right away. “I remember being worried that he may have injured our owner," he said.
”After the game, I’d totally forgotten about it," Ingles continued. “I didn’t know really that it was her at the time either, so I didn’t even think about it. Sitting in the locker room, I’m pretty sure we won. It’s a good, good vibe in the locker room. Dennis Lindsey, GM at the time, comes and grabs me from the locker room after Quin’s postgame talk.”
“I’m walking back and all like all I can think in my head is ‘I’m either getting cut or I’m getting waived, or I’ve being traded, or like something bad.' Something bad. You don’t get pulled back like that. We just won, everyone should be happy. So I walk back there and they pull the door open to Quin’s office, which I’d been in before several times.”
In Snyder’s office, Ingles found Jazz owner Gail Miller sitting down, along with Greg Miller, Justin Zanik, Lindsey, and Snyder. And Ingles thought, “I’m traded, like, for sure... I’m thinking of like texting Renee to start packing the house.”
Ingles said it was Greg Miller who spoke first. “‘Hey, you’ve injured my mom,'” he said. "'She thinks she’s gonna have to have some knee surgery. You’ve injured her. We want you to apologize.’”
“I’m probably white as a ghost and, yeah, it was really nerve wracking moment for a second. And I’m like, ‘Oh, of course, I’m so sorry. Is there anything I can do?’”
“And then they all started laughing, and it was a big joke.”
It turns out that Miller was scheduled to get knee surgery later that year, but Ingles’ collision accelerated her timetable a little. “Gail’s really tough,” Snyder noted.
Still, she wanted to use it as an opportunity to play with Ingles a little bit, and gave Ingles a big hug after the laughter ended. Snyder complemented Gail Miller, saying she did a quality acting job throughout the prank.
And her acting worked. “It was one of the scariest moments as a Jazz member that I’ve had, for sure,” Ingles said.