Tyrese Haliburton and Georges Niang: Best friends and summer housemates
Niang discussed Haliburton's impact on the Pacers and teammates: "He’s just done an unbelievable job of putting his team in a position to win every single night.”
Georges Niang and Tyrese Haliburton are best friends, a friendship that grew closer over the pandemic.
One was a second-round pick of the Pacers (the 50th pick in 2016) and the other is now the face of the team. They both have outgoing personalities, first connected over Iowa State basketball and now talk daily.
“He’s like a brother to me,” Niang said.
“That’s like literally my best friend,” Haliburton said.
That’s not just talk. When Haliburton filled out a preseason form listing his best friends, he listed four. His girlfriend (Jade, who also attended Iowa State), dog (Ames), Niang and teammate Buddy Hield.
Niang is from Massachusetts and went to Iowa State from 2012-2016. Haliburton, a Wisconsin kid, attended from 2018-2020. So at first, he leaned on Niang for advice about ISU. And then over Covid, their relationship took off.
The two have shared a Los Angeles home over the last few summers and so they’re together all the time. Both were unrestricted free agents on July 1 and then they celebrated their new contracts — the largest for each of their careers — together. (Haliburton signed for over $200 million, Niang for $26 million).
Here’s a photo Haliburton shared from their night out.
I told Niang recently that I wanted to talk with him about his bestie and their relationship, and he went on and on about Haliburton’s fit in Indy and how he’s such a great teammate.
“It’s been awesome for him to be able to come to a city where off the court, he can be embraced for his personality and the great person that he is,” said Niang. “I think it’s very few and far between that you find someone that has as good talent on the court, but is an ever better person off the court and he embraces being in Indiana. Indiana is a huge basketball state and they embrace him, love that he loves the game and this city.
“I think it was a match made in heaven for him.”