Tyrese Haliburton is focused on beating his idol, LeBron James

Tyrese Haliburton is focused on beating his idol, LeBron James

“Like any kid born in 2000, LeBron was my favorite player growing up,” Haliburton said Friday afternoon after Indiana practiced at T-Mobile Arena.

LAS VEGAS – On their way to the title match NBA Cupthe Indiana Pacers They beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference last season.

Now, it faces Indiana Los Angeles Lakers And LeBron James In the title match on Saturday, with the right to be the first team to lift the title NBA Cupwhich is the situation, according to Therese Halliburtonsounds like a storybook ending for Indiana.

“Like any kid born in 2000, LeBron was my favorite player growing up,” he said. Halliburton Friday afternoon after Indiana’s practice at T-Mobile Arena.

“And it’s hard for him not to be for a lot of us. Growing up, I was a Cavaliers fan, then a Heat fan, then a Cavs fan again, then a Lakers fan before I got drafted. That’s how it goes.”

“Being able to compete against him in a championship is kind of like a storybook ending, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. But that’s the great part of being in the NBA, being able to compete against your stars every night. . . . I’m really looking forward to it.”

the Pacers I’ve been looking forward to this tournament since before it even started, seeing it as an opportunity to get on the NBA’s radar after missing the playoffs the past four seasons, and to get… Halliburtonindividually, rose to stardom after his debut in Stars game last season and playing for Team USA in the FIBA ​​World Cup this summer.

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So far, mission accomplished on that front, as the Pacers have defeated every player and famous foe that has come before them, including defeating the Celtics and Bucks in recent days to earn their spot in Saturday’s title. Game.

However, there is nothing bigger in the NBA than a showdown LeBron James And the Lakerswho dismantled the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, was left behind by another stellar performance from James, who turns 39 later this month.

coach the PacersRick Carlisle has seen James in big moments before, most notably in the 2011 NBA Finals, when the Dallas Mavericks beat James and the Miami Heat to win the NBA title, and he couldn’t be more impressed with the way “The King” is playing. In his 21st season in the NBA.

LeBron James “He’s still in his prime,” Carlisle said. “I was watching him last night and he’s phenomenal. This is a guy…someone just gave me the stat. He’s the only player in NBA history to be both the youngest player in the league and the oldest player in the league. Obviously that indicates an incredible streak of longevity,” he said. And in his case, greatness.

“He’s the best scorer of all time, and if there’s a Mount Rushmore, he’s one of the guys on the NBA’s Mount Rushmore. That’s what we’re facing tomorrow. We’re going to be facing him, Anthony Davis and many others.” From the others.” Very good players and really competitive at the moment.

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“Our hands are full. But if you’re one of… Indiana Pacers “You’re climbing and you want a great experience, this is the kind of challenge you should love.”

It’s exactly the kind of challenge the Pacers have accepted time and time again throughout this tournament. For a young team with several players, including, in particular, Halliburtonhoping to make the playoffs for the first time, making the postseason the goal this group hopes to achieve this season.

Going through that experience and beating the elite teams the Pacers face on their way to getting to this point is something Indiana believes has served a dual purpose of putting Indiana on the map and preparing this group for the challenges ahead.

“I think it’s a step in that direction,” Pacers center Myles Turner said. “I don’t think we’re fully accomplished until we get to the ultimate goal of getting to the playoffs and getting there. But this is a great little introduction to that. The players can see our style of play, how exciting it is. It’s just watching us play. thus. But of course, any time you can win a championship, it bodes well for your morale, your organization, the team and the spirit in general.”

However, winning a championship this weekend requires going through James. And after James said earlier this week that he was trying to hand Father Time his first loss, Pacers guard TJ McConnell said he is currently on track to do so.

“They’re on a roll and LeBron… Father Time is usually unbeatable, but now he’s beating him,” McConnell said. “So he is playing at an amazing level and so is his whole team, so we have to be focused and ready for the full 48 minutes.”

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Oliver Walton

"Pro alcohol addict. Bacon scholar. Award-winning beer fan. Gamer. Social media expert. Zombie guru."

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