Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton responds to unbelievable Kobe Bryant imitation

Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton had a highlight-reel assist against the New York Knicks, and it came 12 years (to the day) after Kobe Bryant made the same play on the same basket.
Indiana Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton, Kobe Bryant, New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton, Kobe Bryant, New York Knicks / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and the Indiana Pacers added Doug McDermott. However, most of their work was done earlier in the season when they traded for two-time All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam.

But now that the time for trading and improving externally is over, the Pacers’ focus needs to be on the seasons, as they are entrenched in a battle for playoff positioning in the East (and also trying to avoid the Play-In Tournament).

On Friday night, the Pacers traveled to The Big Apple to take on the New York Knicks, who have been without Julius Randle and OG Anunoby, both of whom are dealing with injuries.

While the Pacers walked away with a 125-111 win over the Knicks, the victory wasn’t the highlight of the night, as Tyrese Haliburton made one of the best passes of the season.

In the third quarter of the game, Haliburton got pressed by Knicks wing Josh Hart, but instead of passing out of the play, he threw the ball to himself off the backboard, caught it as if he were going for an alley-oop, and dished it mid-air to Siakam in the corner, who drained a three.

It was an incredible play that drew oos and ahhs from the crowd at Madison Square Garden, but perhaps more insane is that Kobe Bryant made an eerily similar play 12 years ago… to the day.

As pointed out by Twitter user Darius Soriano, Bryant made this play on February 10, 2012. He got double-teamed, threw the ball off the glass, caught it, and passed it mid-air to Pau Gasol for a mid-range jumper. (Oh, how the times have changed. Middy to three-ball.) And if that weren't enough, they both made the play on the same hoop at MSG.

When the similarity picked up some buzz on social media, Haliburton responded to it, noting how “crazy” it is that the two replica plays happened exactly 12 years apart.

Haliburton ended the game with 22 points, three rebounds, and 12 assists while shooting 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-9 from behind the three-point line.

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And while the Pacers may be more thrilled to have the win under their belt rather than the highlight, the fact that Haliburton was able to replicate Bryant in such an exact manner is unimaginable.