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Haliburton praises former teammate Fox, Kings' ‘winning' culture

Haliburton praises former teammate Fox, Kings' ‘winning' culture originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Indiana Pacers superstar guard Tyrese Haliburton returned to Sacramento to face off against the Kings on Thursday at Golden 1 Center, and has taken note of the massive changes the franchise has undergone since his departure.

In speaking to reporters before the game, Haliburton was asked how things have changed for the Kings since he was traded from Sacramento to Indiana midway through the 2021-22 NBA season, and was quick to lavish praise on De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and coach Mike Brown.

“I think the new coach has helped a lot; I think winning changes things,” Haliburton said.

“Fox has been one of the best guards in the league over the past couple of years and Domas is a seamless fit. They got really good guys that fit in the group well, I think Malik [Monk] is a really good player, Keegan [Murray] is a really good draft pick, they fill out the roster really well so that has a lot to do with their success.”

The Kings took Haliburton with the No.12 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and he quickly became one of the best young players in the league, finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting during the 2020-2021 NBA season.

However, the Kings still were mired in mediocrity during the season-plus Haliburton was on the team before the blockbuster trade that sent him to the Pacers for Sabonis.

Since that trade and Brown's hiring, the Kings have reversed their fortunes, making the playoffs last season for the first time in 16 years and contending this season with the best teams in the Western Conference.

Haliburton has blossomed into one of the best scorers in the league since the trade to Indiana, and the Pacers rewarded him with a max contract extension worth up to five years and $260 million last offseason.

Unfortunately, fans will not be able to see Haliburton match up against the Kings as he currently is out with a hamstring injury.