2. Tyrese Haliburton
The Indiana Pacers have been stumbling lately, but their run to the In-Season Tournament championship game caught many by surprise. Their play also placed Tyrese Haliburton on a national stage that introduced him to a budding superstar stratosphere that, both, fans, and the NBA ate up.
Former players like JJ Redick campaigned about Haliburton’s potential greatness early in his career, however, it was not seen by most eyes due to him being part of the pre-playoff Sacramento Kings and, a previous, downtrodden Pacers squad. The one-time all-star ended the summer with an impressive FIBA Basketball World Cup showing that brought him into the season ready to take off, in a fun way.
The league’s top 20 scorer and assists leader has taken to making NBA courts look like sophisticated street ball. Haliburton can be seen skipping and strutting like a player at the Rucker with every fancy pass or three-point barrage. This has come with 40-point games as well as five games of 20-plus points, 10-plus assists, and no turnovers—including one turnover-less triple-double.
Haliburton’s ascension into the spotlight seems like a quick one, but it has been earned strictly through hard work and making an impression between the 94-feet of NBA lines.