• Tyrese Haliburton was more than happy to open up on his roots as a LeBron James fan
  • He acknowledged that Kobe Bryant grew on him as he got older
  • Haliburton gained 10 pounds of muscle in his first official offseason with the Kings

When it comes to debating who the “Greatest Of All-Time” is in any sport, discussions turn nasty and it goes off-subject.

At this point, "GOAT" debates are simply subjective and that will never change.

Similar to how many players in the league today grew up idolizing Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as their personal "GOAT," Sacramento Kings point guard Tyrese Haliburton was one of them.

Haliburton was a staunch James supporter and it came with the caveat of despising five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant as debates were centered around who was better between the two legends.

Haliburton appeared on the “Deuce and Mo” podcast and told Deuce Mason and Morgan Ragan how much he idolized James.

“For me, it was LeBron [James] my whole life. All the jerseys. I had the Fathead, the big poster thing of the big signature tomahawk dunk. I had everything,” he told them.

“What's crazy to think about is, because of the LeBron-Kobe debate, as a kid I was anti-Kobe. Like, I knew how good he was, but he was obviously the main threat to LeBron. My mom used to always make Nike runs and go to the store and bring home Kobe stuff, like t-shirts, shorts. I'm like 'Mom, I don't want it. Don't even give it to me.' I started to wear his shoes as I got older, but clothes, I couldn't wear them.”

But the Iowa State product eventually appreciated Bryant's greatness.

“I've learned to appreciate him more as I've gotten older. I truly believe he's the best player to ever touch a basketball, most talented, I think so. But as a young kid, I never would have said that,” Haliburton admitted.

For Haliburton, it is very easy to see why he became a James fan then as the Akron, Ohio native was athleticism personified and his basketball IQ was off the charts, even in his younger years.

But recognizing the “Black Mamba” for his accomplishments usually comes a bit later because his game is more nuanced, recognized better by those who have played the game of basketball.

Haliburton may have been a pure James fan in his younger years, but his exposure to the game of basketball also allowed him to appreciate Bryant’s greatness at the same time.

Last year’s dark horse candidate for the Rookie of the Year award has already played against his childhood hero last season, and he mentioned that he did not feel nervous anymore since it was the end of the season and that he has played almost everybody in the league.

Haliburton reportedly put on 10 pounds of muscle this offseason and he will get to face his idol again on Friday, November 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.