“Nobody in the world needs that much money” – Joe Ingles plans to give back

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 4: Joe Ingles
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 4: Joe Ingles /

The Utah Jazz recently came to a new agreement with free agent Joe Ingles who gave some heart-warming insight on his plans to use some of his significant pay raise to give back to those in need.

Earlier in the month, Utah Jazz swingman Joe Ingles committed to re-sign with the team on a hefty four-year, $52 million contract. Although to the casual fan this seemed like a massive amount to commit to the 29-year-old out of Australia, many closest to the league and the team were quick to applaud the deal as a great value for the player that Joe Ingles has become.

He had a breakout season in 2016-17 in which he solidified himself as one of the league’s premier deep-ball shooters and, to the surprise of many, a reliable and crafty wing defender. Throw in the fact that he’s an excellent locker room and glue guy and it’s little surprise that Ingles netted the impressive payday that he did.

Nevertheless, this by no means signifies that the humble and easy-going Ingles is going to change his tune. Despite the fact that he is one of the better “rags-to-riches” stories in the league as he’s risen up the ranks from practical obscurity to becoming an NBA starter, Ingles made it clear in a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph that he intends to maintain his same outlook and approach to life rather than let the money and fame get to his head:

"“I remember reading it (the contract) somewhere and I never thought I would be in a situation like this.I mean, I’m not going to change. I am who I am. I’m about to turn 30 now and I’ve been like that my whole life.People looking from the outside might think that things will change because I’ll have access to a lot more money, but it won’t happen.”"

Especially in the wake of Gordon Hayward’s departure, Joe Ingles will be forced to take on a much more prominent role for the Jazz during the upcoming season. And although one might suppose that it would be easy for him to develop a sense of entitlement given that he’ll be one of Utah’s highest paid players next season as well as one of their most experienced, his contagious attitude and personality that has become so beloved among Jazz fans is sure to remain the same.

One of the best things about Ingles has always been his willingness to fill whatever role he’s been tasked with, and despite the significant pay raise, given Ingles’ previous statement, it seems that it would take a lot more than extra dollars in the bank to change his mindset.

And perhaps the coolest thing that Ingles had to say about his new contract was regarding his plans for what he’ll do with some of the additional cash coming through the door:

"“We are going to do a lot of stuff with underprivileged children and families. I mean, we don’t need that much money. Nobody in the world needs that much money.So we’ll spend a lot of time helping out kids and families that need the help. We’ll start in Utah because we are going to be there in a few months, but then we’ll do some things in Australia.”"

NBA players have undoubtedly earned the right to spend their money however they please, but it’s still always refreshing to see these highly visible role models using their talent and the rewards they reap because of them to give back to those who are less fortunate than themselves. I have no doubt that Ingles will put a significant amount of money into a good cause as he keeps in mind those in need as well as just how fortunate he has been to become the player he is today.

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Ingles was already a beloved fan favorite in Utah and statements such as this are sure to only win him over even more fans. Since joining the Jazz, his grit and determination on the court have only been equaled by his noble and lovable attitude off the court.

And as this Jazz team looks to turn a new page in the post-Hayward era, it will be exciting to see the part that Ingles plays in all facets of the Jazz organization moving forward.