Tyrese Haliburton Is Still Getting Over the Trade That Changed His Life

It was refreshing to come somewhere with other young guys and a coaching staff and front office that were trying to build habits to make us successful next season. Coming into an environment where the expectations are the same down the line is a change.

What about the guys on the roster? Who do you really like?

Coming over with Buddy [Hield] and having guys who were familiar with me helped. Me and Buddy know how to play off each other. Being with these new guys, like Malcolm Brogdon and guys that are a part of the young core here, we’re gonna go out there and sometimes it’s gonna look crazy! [laughs] We’re learning on the fly. Baptism by fire, in a sense.

In your most vivid dreams, what’s the best version of yourself with the Pacers?

I envision myself as an All-Star, a guy part of the core moving forward, someone who brings Indiana back to the playoffs and we’re competing for a championship. That’s where I see it going. I always tell people: I want to be the best version of myself, but I don’t know what that is right now. And I don’t know if I’ll know that in a year or two years. But, I’m looking forward to finding out.

What’ve you been listening to lately?

I listen to a lot of old shit. Since “Jeen-Yuhs” came out, I’ve been listening to College Dropout and Late Registration every day

You’re….You’re calling that “old shit?”

I mean, I was five years old when that came out.

Dog, I’m 28…

Well, it’s not recent!

This is ridiculous.

It’s not new! It’s not recent! It ain’t, like, ’90s stuff. I listen to a lot of mid-2000’s stuff, cause that’s what I grew up in. But my favorite College Dropout song is “All Falls Down.” That’s my number one. I like “Jesus Walks,” though. Ugh. I love “Jesus Walks,” oh my God. Since I’ve listened to it again during this, “Two Words” or “Never Let Me Down” does it for me.

Your dad is a referee right? Do y’all ever argue about calls?

We argue about calls all the time. I used to ref with him, when I was younger. That’s how we spent most of our time together. And, that’s how I made money. He worked the third shift, so the only time in high school we really got was reffing lil kids with him.

I’d go with him Saturday morning or Sunday mornings or an entire weekend. I’d work for hours and make $25 a game. I called nothing. I wanted to get out of there quick. He wanted to teach the kids how to play the right way, so he called every hand touch and stuff like that. He be making me mad [laughs]. So, we definitely argue about calls all the time.

What’s the one part about your game right now that you think he hates the most?

He hates when I get frustrated and use profanity. My dad doesn’t cuss. I got my first NBA tech on my birthday because I cussed at the ref. [My dad] called me and he was not very happy. [Laughs] He gives me a lot of constructive things, but he never says anything bad about my game. To be honest, he thinks I’m, like, perfect.

That’s very sweet.

It’s more my mom who’s the realistic one and stays on me about things. [Laughs]

Moms know best. What did she say?

She’s always on me about gettin’ stronger and being better on both sides of the ball defensively. Blah, blah, blah. My mom never missed a game growing up so she’s always a little hard on me.

Does she think you’re a little small?

A little bit, I think. [Laughs]

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