NBA rivals Tyrese Haliburton, Jalen Brunson face off at WWE SmackDown

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NBA rivals Tyrese Haliburton, Jalen Brunson face off at WWE SmackDown

Madison Square Garden was buzzing during “Friday Night SmackDown.”

After The Bloodline went toe-to-toe with Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton and Kevin Owens and Tiffany Stratton booked her ticket to the Money in the Bank ladder match, Logan Paul had another great way to keep the crowd lit up – he brought out an arch rival.

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Indiana Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton and Logan Paul confront New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson and LA Knight during WWE SmackDown at Madison Square Garden on June 28, 2024, in New York City. (WWE/Getty Images)

Paul was set to take part in a triple-threat Monday in the Bank qualifying match against LA Knight and Santos Escobar. The United States Champion announced to the crowd that he was bringing out someone who knew how to win at Madison Square Garden – Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton and the Pacers defeated the New York Knicks in seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals this past year. Haliburton, wearing a Tyrese 3:17 as a nod to the legendary “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, came out to a loud chorus of boos. He then had a staredown with Knicks star Jalen Brunson, who was in attendance for the WWE event.

During the match, Haliburton heard “F— the Pacers” chants directed at him as well.

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Tyrese Haliburton and Logan Paul

Indiana Pacers’ point guard Tyrese Haliburton and WWE United States Champion Logan Paul make their entrance for Paul’s Money in the Bank qualifying triple threat match during WWE SmackDown at Madison Square Garden on June 28, 2024, in New York City. (WWE/Getty Images)

Paul called on Haliburton to give him the brass knuckles to help him cheat to win the match. Haliburton got the weapon, but Brunson hopped over the barricade to cause a distraction. The referees had to step in between the two NBA stars.

It caused enough of a distraction for Escobar to hit Paul with two knees in the corner. Knight then hit Escobar with a BFT. Paul tried to sneakily roll up Knight, but Knight countered and got the pinfall on Knight.

After the match, Haliburton and Paul confronted Knight in the ring, but Brunson backed up Knight and brought a chair with him in the ring.

Jalen Brunson and LA Knight

LA Knight and New York Knicks’ point guard Jalen Brunson acknowledge the fans during WWE SmackDown at Madison Square Garden on June 28, 2024, in New York City. (WWE/Getty Images)

Cooler heads prevailed, and Paul and Haliburton left the ring.

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Knight is now a part of next weekend’s Money in the Bank ladder match. It’s the second straight year he will be a part of the event.

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