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Future Utah Jazz forward Simone Fontecchio’s idol is none other than Joe Ingles

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France’s Nicolas Batum tries to steal the ball from Italy’s Simone Fontecchio, right, during a men’s basketball quarterfinal round game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Saitama, Japan.

Charlie Neibergall, AP

Simone Fontecchio is reportedly the latest addition to the Utah Jazz, and as it turns out, he isn’t unfamiliar with the franchise thanks to Joe Ingles.

Ingles, a longtime forward for the Jazz who is now a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, is one of Fontecchio’s basketball idols.

This all came out during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following Australia’s 86-83 victory over Italy during the group stage of competition (Fontecchio played for Italy, Ingles for Australia).

During the postgame press conference, Ingles fielded questions from reporters. One unnamed reporter, who a day earlier had learned from Fontecchio himself that he idolizes Ingles, asked Ingles about his thoughts on Fontecchio.

As Ingles has been wont to do throughout his professional basketball career, he had fun with his response.

“I’m who’s idol?” Ingles asked. “... He needs a better idol. I’d never seen him play before. Watching the scout (report) for the last game and obviously playing against him tonight, we were just Googling where he played this year. I’m surprised that he is not in one of the biggest teams in Europe.

“He’s a really good player. Aggressive, especially on the offense end. Finding his shot and obviously shooting a high percentage as well. Maybe I’ll go give him my jersey or something. I’m very surprised.”

On Sunday, following reports that Fontecchio is signing with the Jazz, Ingles took to Twitter to have some fun with Fontecchio once again.