Pacers’ Haliburton says fan directed racial slur at younger brother during playoff game

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton plays against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Sunday, April 14, 2024. (Michael Conroy/AP Photo)

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton said a fan directed a racial slur at his younger brother during Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series with the Milwaukee Bucks.

“My little brother in the stands the other day was called an N-word,” Haliburton said after the Pacers’ 125-108 Game 2 victory over the Bucks on Tuesday night. “It was important for us as a family to just address that. That was important for us to talk about because that didn’t sit right with anybody in our family. It’s just been important to have my family here right now, and my little brother’s handled that the right way.”

Neither the Bucks nor the NBA immediately responded to an email asking whether the team or league had been made aware of this before Haliburton’s comment and whether any investigation had been conducted.

Haliburton was making his playoff debut in his home state. He grew up and went to high school in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, about 90 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

The Bucks had beaten the Pacers 109-94 in Game 1 on Sunday before Indiana evened the series Tuesday. Game 3 is Friday at Indianapolis.

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