Tyrese Haliburton

Basketball player Tyrese Haliburton plays professionally. The Iowa State product was originally selected by the Sacramento Kings in the lottery of the 2020 NBA Draft. However, he was controversially traded to the Indiana Pacers in February of 2022 in exchange for Damontas Sabonis, and he has since developed into the star of Rick Carlisle’s team’s resurgence.

Why is the third-year combo guard being discussed in a piece about WWE when he is averaging a career-high 21.6 points, 9.9 assists, and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field, 45.3 percent from three-point range, and 87.8 percent from the line?

It turns out that Hali is a major fan of professional wrestling and that she even received a special pass to watch the show backstage when SmackDown performed at the lovely Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Before his team’s Saturday night matchup against the Toronto Raptors on his home court, Kayla Braxton caught up with the potential All-Star to find out about his WWE experience up to that point, what he was looking forward to on the show, and whether he would ever step foot inside the ring for a bump or two in the future.

Tyrese Haliburton would like to get in a WWE ring down the line.

Haliburton couldn’t contain his excitement when asked what it was like to be backstage at SmackDown in his team’s home arena. Braxton heard Haliburton say, “I’m incredibly excited.” It’s been great since I get to see and interact with everyone.

When asked who he was most looking forward to seeing, Haliburton listed a couple of his favorites, including a certain 14-time champion-turned-head-of-creative who has captured the attention of the WWE Universe.

Haliburton replied, “I met the New Day in the back, I met The Usos in the back, I met Triple H in the back. So it’s been good. I’ve met some awesome people. I’ve seen some awesome individuals.

When Braxton questioned about their meeting in particular after noticing that Haliburton was sporting a Triple H shirt, Haliburton revealed that The Game now also owns one of his jerseys. Yes, Haliburton added, “I gave him (Triple H) a jersey, a Pacers jersey, and we took a beautiful little picture, so that was fairly cool.

Wow, Trips received a present rather than the other way around. Given the current bookman’s fondness for souvenirs and spectacle, it was probably a good sign for his chances of joining Pat McAfee and/or Rob Gronkowski in the larger WWE Universe in the future.

Braxton was impressed by Haliburton’s generosity, so he inquired about the experience of watching the show at his home arena. WWE typically uses sports facilities while their home team(s) is/are on the road. Haliburton was obviously thrilled to have the chance, even though none of the other artists shouted him out in the ring Lamar Jackson-style.

Haliburton told Braxton, “Usually the Pacers are out of town when WWE comes to town. Our team called me when they found out about the schedule and I’m incredibly excited.

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Haliburton answered, “Yeah, for sure. “I told Triple H I just want one bump, just one bump, I don’t know when it’s going to happen, it’s far away from now, but just one, that’s all I need,” the wrestler said.

Oh no, he described it as a bump. We count Haliburton among ourselves. So what would his attitude be in the ring? Would he maintain his existing attitude or adopt a new name, appearance, or even even a new hood to conceal his identity? Haliburton has a theory but isn’t entirely certain.

Tyrese Haliburton

I haven’t given it much thought, Haliburton said. Tyrese Haliburton: “I believe I would run with my name, but what about my ring gear? Basketball gear of some kind, including shorts, shoes, and possibly no shirt, but we’ll probably find out someday.

That’s all there is to it, people; Haliburton is willing to take a bump, is aware of what a bump is, and even has a rough notion of what his in-ring outfit will be. While stars from one sport rarely switch to another, there have been many basketball players who have had second careers or even just fun, newsworthy appearances.

These include Shaquille O’Neal in AEW, Dennis Rodman in WCW, and even Dwight Howard, who is both destined for the NBA Hall of Fame due to his incredible list of accomplishments and tried out for WWE earlier this year before ultimately signing a contract to play basketball in Taiwan. Who knows, Haliburton might also be added to the list.

 

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