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Tyrese Haliburton wowed by praise, advice from Kyrie Irving, James Harden

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Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Tyrese Haliburton, the surprise Rookie of the Year candidate for the Kings, was a big fan of Kyrie Irving growing up in Wisconsin.

“Kyrie has been one of my favorite players growing up. I got all of his shoes. I’m not going to wear them against him but I got them all,” Haliburton said Tuesday night after scoring 23 points, a season high, and handing out nine assists in the Kings loss.

So when after the game, Irving and James Harden, another boyhood hero, came up to him, spoke with him, it was a thrill.

“(They are) just two guys that are two of the best players to ever play this game. To approach me and have that conversation with me, obviously, they see something, right? They don’t just talk to everybody. It means a lot to me,” said Haliburton, an Iowa State product.

“Those are just two guys that I’ve kind of looked up to my whole life so to get that, I can’t really describe it into words but (it) gave me confidence that I really belong.”

Kings TV announcers noticed the exchanges as Bleacher Report tweeted.

Respect from the best is always a confidence builder, particularly if you have all their sneakers to remind you.