Tyrese Haliburton Reveals How Damian Lillard Gave Him a ‘Welcome to the NBA’ Moment

Published 01/20/2021, 2:20 PM EST
Jan 5, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) hits a shot over Chicago Bulls guard Garrett Temple (17) during the first half of the game at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports


Damian Lillard is one of the best point guards in the NBA right now. The Portland Trail Blazers star has impressed several competitors with his talent, and his half-court shots are a thing of beauty. Sacramento Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton recently informed how he witnessed Lillard’s work of art when guarding him.

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How Damian Lillard impressed rookie Tyrese Haliburton

NBA rookies learn their lessons the hard way, and that was the same with Tyrese Haliburton as well. Playing against NBA athletes for the first time can be demanding, and Damian Lillard ensured he mesmerized Haliburton with his shooting arm. 

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Kings’ Haliburton recently joined JJ Redick’s podcast, where the NBA veteran asked the rookie to mention if he had encountered any ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moment thus far. The Iowa State alum couldn’t help but reveal 2 moments that had him scratching his head. 

Haliburton narrated the first incident and mentioned how the Kings blew a comfortable 20-point lead against the Toronto Raptors.

Sacramento ended up losing the game by a double-digit margin and Fred Van Vleet’s brilliance left the 20-year-old gasping for breath. 

Damian Lillard starred in the second incident as it was a classic example of ‘Logo Lillard.’ Here’s how Haliburton put it in his words, “We played the Trailblazers the other day.

“They beat us bad then they played us again and Dame, they told me the pickup spot was 40 [feet], like pick him up at 40. And he [Lillard] shot it from half-court and I said, ‘Coach I know you said 40, but he just shot it from 50.

“I don’t know what you want me to do here.’”

 

Haliburton is a talent for the future

Tyrese Haliburton is proving to be a valuable pick, as his shooting skills are impressive. His numbers aren’t off the charts, but the shooting guard has a lot of scope to improve. 

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Haliburton is averaging 11.1 points and 5.3 assists through 12 games in the regular season, and the youngster looks like he’s hungry for more.

Furthermore, he is quite the standout in his draft class and his 51.0% three-point accuracy is the 3rd-best when it comes to his rookie leaders. 

Jan 8, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) drives to the basket against Toronto Raptors forward Chris Boucher (25) during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Haliburton has a wonderful shooting arm and can knock down long-range efforts with ease. He just requires some time to adjust to the intensity of the league, and the Kings will have a solid player on their hands!

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Arjun Athreya

1729 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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