Purdy rooting for friend Haliburton, Pacers in NBA playoffs

Purdy rooting for friend Haliburton, Pacers in NBA playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Iowa State connection knows no bounds, and even transcends sports.

Former Cyclone stars Brock Purdy and Tyrese Haliburton know that all too well, as the professional athletes have remained friends while they chart their respective NFL and NBA paths -- Purdy, of course, as quarterback for the 49ers, and Haliburton taking center stage at point guard for the Indiana Pacers.

As Haliburton and Co. prepare to face the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals beginning Tuesday night, he has a fan in Purdy -- but the QB has been sure to let his pal focus on the game at hand.

"I'm leaving him alone, dude," Purdy told reporters in Santa Clara on Tuesday at the start of organized team activities. "He's balling, so I'm letting him do his thing and definitely supporting him. I got his back, so really happy for him, man. Hope he goes all the way."

On the other side of things, Haliburton also has been very vocal of his support for his friend Purdy, even rocking the QB's jersey before the 49ers took on the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game in January.

Haliburton and Purdy used to take part in leadership meetings as athletes at Iowa State, and the NBA star looks at the signal-caller as family.

"We both started as freshmen, and that's somebody that I could really call a friend," Haliburton recalled after a Pacers game in December. "To see what he's doing and succeeding the way that he is, that's really cool to see especially being from Iowa State, where it's not a school that's expected to have this much success at the professional level in any sport.

"So it's cool to see my brother do well. From the moment that he started, I always was showing him nothing but love."

During the 2024 NBA playoffs so far, Haliburton is averaging 18.8 points, 8.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 13 games coming into Tuesday. But there's plenty of work to do if Indiana wants to make it past Boston and reach the NBA Finals.

And since Purdy is very aware of the pressures that come with playing in a big game, there's no one better for Haliburton to have in his corner.

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