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WWE’s Logan Paul trolls New Yorkers by bringing Pacers star and hated Knicks rival Tyrese Haliburton into the ring… before local hero Jalen Brunson chases them out with a folding chair

A YouTube star and two NBA rivals walk into a wrestling ring.

No, it’s not the prelude to a bad joke. Rather, it was the scene during WWE Smackdown at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Friday night, where Logan Paul coaxed Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton and Knicks rival Jalen Brunson into a near-tag team match with LA Knight.

Brunson and Haliburton, of course, are no strangers to each other following the 2024 NBA postseason, which saw the former’s Knicks defeated in seven games by the latter’s Pacers. Indiana would ultimately fall in the Eastern Conference Finals to the eventual champion Boston Celtics.

Paul has, of course, parlayed his YouTube fame into a new career in martial arts and kayfabe wrestling, where he’s also been able to promote his brand of bottled water.

But Friday’s Smackdown wasn’t about selling water or even the NBA. Instead, there was a good dose of chest-thumping and saber-rattling between crowd favorite Brunson and the emerging Paul-Haliburton alliance.

NBA rivals Jalen Brunson (left) and Tyrese Haliburton (right) stare each other down at MSG

NBA rivals Jalen Brunson (left) and Tyrese Haliburton (right) stare at each other at MSG

In an effort to put an end to any cheating, Brunson grabbed one of the WWE's ubiquitous folding chairs and entered the ring alongside Paul's opponent, LA Knight.

In an attempt to put an end to any cheating, Brunson grabbed one of WWE’s ubiquitous folding chairs and entered the ring alongside Paul’s opponent, LA Knight.

With Brunson sitting ringside, Paul started the proceedings by calling up someone with experience winning at MSG.

“Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton,” Paul announced, to loud cheers from the New Yorkers in attendance.

Paul then walked into the ring next to the 6-foot-5, tall former Iowa State guard, who first took a moment to stare at Brunson.

A typical wrestling match ensued for the two NBA stars, who remained calm until Haliburton grabbed a pair of brass knuckles from the audience for Paul.

In an attempt to put an end to any cheating, Brunson grabbed one of WWE’s ubiquitous folding chairs and entered the ring alongside Paul’s opponent, LA Knight.

There was some wrangling, but Haliburton and a defeated Paul eventually retreated from the ring, much to the delight of the loyal Knicks fans in the crowd.

Unfortunately for Knicks fans, Brunson appeared to be irritating his surgically repaired left hand, breaking it during the Knicks’ Game 7 loss to the Pacers at Madison Square Garden.

He had no noticeable pain, but Brunson did look at his left hand and shake it after climbing into the ring with the folding chair.

“Jalen Brunson grimaced at his surgically repaired hand while doing a spot on WWE,” Stefan Bondy of the New York Post wrote of X. “Would officially be the worst way to get hurt.”

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