Ingles, Exum juggle babies and Jazz
Photo Source: AP
The Utah Jazz's Australian duo Dante Exum and Joe Ingles expect to deliver plenty of assists to each other during the upcoming NBA season, but when it comes to changing nappies off the court it will not be a joint effort.
Ingles and his Australian netball star wife Renae welcomed twins, Jacob and Milla, in July and the family is settling into their home in Salt Lake City.
It's a lot of work, but when 21-year-old "Uncle Dante" stops in for a visit, Ingles says he is not much help.
"No, he's hopeless," Ingles laughed in an interview with AAP on Monday before the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-94 in a pre-season game.
"He's come over a couple of times and seen them and awkwardly held them."
Exum, Ingles says, won't be called upon to help with the nappy changing.
"No, I wouldn't want him to," Ingles said.
"I want to keep him away from them."
Exum and 29-year-old Ingles have a big brother, little brother type relationship.
They are great mates, but never miss a chance to poke fun at each other.
Exum is OK with not being too hands-on with Jacob and Milla.
"No, I'm more the spectator," Exum said.
"I'll hold the kids and wait until they get to the age where they can run around."
Exum, Ingles and the Jazz are quietly confident they can turn the NBA team's fortunes around this season, hoping to force their way into the traditionally strong Western Conference playoffs for the first time since 2012.
The two Australians, however, also face personal challenges.
Exum missed the 2015/16 NBA season and the Rio Olympics after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
There's pressure on him to finally live up to the Jazz's decision to select him with the fifth pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.
Exum says he tries not to think too much about what impact his injury also had on the Boomers in Rio.
If he was fit, could he have helped Australia secure a medal in Rio instead of another painful fourth place?
"You never know," he said.
"It's that butterfly effect where everything changes.
"You never know."
For Ingles, he will go into his third NBA season juggling playing in the world's elite basketball competition while being a devoted dad.
He said his arduous NBA schedule would not be an excuse to avoid getting up to help feed the twins when they stir in the early hours, admitting sleep was "non-existent".
Renae's mother was in Salt Lake City to help and other family members will visit during the season, but they will largely be raising the twins themselves.
"No, I'm up every time they are up," he said.
"We've got two of them so Renae can't do it by herself."
Listening to Ingles, renowned for being the team clown, it sounds as though he is a changed man.
Not so says Exum, sitting in the Clippers away team locker room.
"Joe mature?" Exum asks.
"Joe has not matured in any way or form.
"His wife is taking care of the kids and he's there along for the ride."
The NBA regular season starts on October 25.