Tyrese Haliburton has had a few "Welcome to the NBA" moments, but he had yet to be hit with a rookie prank. The standard for most first-year pros is to have their nice new cars filled with popcorn, but the Kings mixed it up with a little help from Reese's.
The good news is that is was a cold day in Sacramento, and none of the chocolate melted in his ride. He also won't have to spend a few hundred dollars getting his car detailed or worry about finding kernels under his seat for the next few years.
Haliburton also received some good news regarding his health. After missing four straight games with calf soreness, the two-time reigning Western Conference Rookie of the Month returned to the court Wednesday and is set to play in the Kings' first game coming out of the All-Star break Thursday against the Houston Rockets.
"I've been working out all All-Star break, I practiced today, so yeah, I'm good, I'm ready," Haliburton said in a conference call with reporters.
Taken with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Haliburton has tasted immediate success. In 30 games through the first half of the season, he averaged 13.2 points, 5.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30 minutes per game. He shot extremely well from in his first stretch in the league, knocking down 43.3 percent of his 3-point shots.
Bumps and bruises have cost the 21-year-old a total of six games, but the break gave him an opportunity to rest his body and prepare for the sprint to the finish line.
"I've been battling some different things this year with some knee soreness, shoulder, kinda whole body," Haliburton said. "I feel like All-Star break is kinda giving me a reset, so I feel really good. I'm ready to attack this."
Haliburton played a total of 57 games over his two years in college, including just 22 last season at Iowa State. He has taken a couple of big falls in his rookie campaign, but he has fought through most of the issues so far.
According to Kings coach Luke Walton, the team plans to come out of the break with a minutes restriction for Haliburton. Sacramento will build him back up over the next few games as the Kings try to get back on track.