Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton has led his staff into the semifinals of the inaugural NBA In-Season Event, the place he’ll be taking over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday for a spot within the ultimate on Saturday.
Haliburton and his teammates practiced Wednesday in Las Vegas, the place the semifinals and the ultimate will likely be held. He posed with the NBA Cup and spoke to the media about his path to stardom and whether or not the In-Season Event format must be altered for 2024.
Haliburton ignores superstition — he touched the NBA Cup!
When elite athletes are battling to win a trophy or some type of silverware, it is normally thought-about dangerous luck to the touch the championship cup or trophy earlier than it has been formally awarded. However do not inform that to Haliburton, who each posed with and touched the NBA Cup throughout Wednesday’s follow session open to the media.
Haliburton’s path thus far has been lined by doubts — and doubters. A lightly-recruited three-star prospect out of Wisconsin, Haliburton labored himself right into a lottery choose whereas enjoying at Iowa State College. However the staff that drafted him — the Sacramento Kings — traded him lower than two full seasons into his profession.
Now, he is discovered a house in Indy, the place he signed a max contract extension in July that can maintain him with the Pacers by 2028.
Haliburton “curious” whether or not event format will change
Haliburton on Wednesday admitted that he had some hassle attending to sleep following Monday’s win over the Boston Celtics — one of many greatest nights within the historical past of the Pacers franchise, because it clinched a spot within the In-Season Event semifinals.
“To get a style of enjoying on nationwide TV is cool,” Haliburton mentioned. “You wish to maintain doing it, and you have to win to do this.”
The Pacers level guard is doing his greatest to show the web page from the win over Boston, realizing that star-studded Milwaukee will need revenge for a 126-124 loss to Indiana final month.
“The higher we play, the extra love we’re gonna get,” Haliburton mentioned. “We have got to take that in stride and perceive that may be a poison in a way on the similar time.”
When requested whether or not he wished to see adjustments made to the In-Season Event for its second go-round in 2024/25, Haliburton mentioned he needs to “keep away from the tiebreaker mess” that confused followers and upset sure gamers.
“I am curious to see what adjustments subsequent 12 months,” Haliburton mentioned. “Perhaps enjoying a pair extra video games, perhaps outdoors of your group or within the different convention, enjoying extra video games to have totally different eventualities with tiebreakers and make it make a little bit extra sense.”