The Pacers’ young leader Tyrese Haliburton had a breakout year a season ago and while there may be many reasons for making him a better player, he credits 2K. For those who have been living under a rock and don’t know much about video games, 2K is the shortened name for the NBA video game.
Basketball is more than just shooting a ball through a hoop, the IQ takes years to develop. The best basketball players spend hours thoroughly studying and strategizing ways that they can get better. In a recent interview with The Ringer, Tyrese Haliburton talked about how playing “NBA 2K” on his PlayStation helped him improve.
“Honestly, a lot of my hoop knowledge in knowing how to play comes from video games,” the 23-year-old point guard said. “When you’re playing 2K and you’re on that camera angle where you can see everything ahead of you, that’s how I think sometimes.”
Through the first 11 games of the season, Haliburton is averaging 23.5 points and 11.6 assists per game. That’s up from the 20.7 points and 10.4 assists per contest that he averaged last season. He’s also seen an increase in his shooting percentages across the board this season.
Of course, video games are not the only thing that helped Haliburton improve. In that same interview, Haliburton talked about how his father always showed him highlights from five-time NBA champion Magic Johnson, the all-time leader in assists who was known for his fast playing style. Haliburton joined the Pacers with an in-season trade in 2022.
“I play a style of basketball that people want to play,” Haliburton says. “I think that’s part of the reason why they signed me to the deal they signed me to. I’ve got long-term stability here because they know that I can help bring people here—not only with who I am as a basketball player, but who I am as a person.”
With the Pacers beginning to believe in his court vision, you could only imagine how far this team could go.
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