Tyrese Haliburton Says Steve Kerr Told Luke Walton Not To Change His Jump Shot When The Kings Drafted Him

Tyrese Haliburton was a rather polarizing prospect coming into the 2020 NBA Draft, as there were some who felt he was among the very best prospects given his feel for the game and efficient productivity in college, while others had questions, especially about how his odd jump shot form would translate to the NBA.

Plenty were skeptical of whether his unique release would be effective or consistent enough to be a successful shooter in the NBA, but through three seasons in the NBA he has never shot worse than 40 percent from three. Now the leading man in Indiana, which was cemented with a new supermax contract extension this summer, Haliburton hasn’t forgotten all of those doubts and has hundreds of tweets bookmarked that he’ll unload on a rainy day.

He also hasn’t forgotten those who were in his corner, including someone not many would think of given he’s played in Sacramento and Indiana thus far in his career. As Haliburton told Paul George on the latest episode of Podcast P, he credits Steve Kerr with ensuring the Kings didn’t try to get him to tweak his jumper, as he learned Kerr called up then-Sacramento coach (and former Warriors assistant) Luke Walton after the draft and told Walton not to touch Haliburton’s jumper.

“When I got drafted, Luke didn’t really know anything about me, and one of the stories he told me recently was that Coach Kerr had called him, cause I worked out for the Warriors. And Coach Kerr called him and was like, ‘We love that kid, don’t ever touch his jumper.’ And Luke was like, ‘Are you sure?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah yeah, don’t touch it.’ Luke just kind of let me do my thing and from there no one’s ever messed with me about it.”

That advice has certainly been spot on from Kerr, who could clearly see that Haliburton had something in his game that was special. However, it wasn’t enough for Golden State to take him second (which would’ve been a rather wild selection in the moment, but in hindsight would’ve been about right) and when the couldn’t trade back with anyone, Haliburton slid down to the Kings at 12. Now he’s an All-Star in Indiana, thanks in large part to that funky jump shot that is one of the most efficient in the NBA, and with three years of elite shooting numbers, it’s safe to assume no one will be trying to tweak his form ever again.