Indiana Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton quiets Wally Szczerbiak
Tyrese Haliburton is the leader of the Indiana Pacers and has a strong case for an All-Star nominee. Wally Szczerbiak thinks otherwise.
The Indiana Pacers faced the red-hot New York Knicks this week and lost in a close bout between historic rivals. Tyrese Haliburton had opportunities to give the Pacers the lead in crunch time, but came up short.
As a result, Wally Szczerbiak (best known for commenting on Tyrese Haliburton) took a shot at the Pacers’ young star. An unwise choice of words led to an unfortunate turn of events for the Knicks’ broadcaster. He said this about Haliburton:
“Mr. Supposed, wannabe, fake, All-Star with a big miss… he is in the second year (wrong, his third) he is not going to make the All-Star team”
This rightfully caused an uproar among Pacers fans across social media channels. What's even better is Tyrese Haliburton responding himself while talking with Taylor Rooks:
“I know the name Wally Szczerbiak. I couldn’t tell you where he played, I couldn't tell you what he did as a basketball player. I do not know if he had a lot to say about me. I was questioning at first who is this?… I think he was just excited about a Knicks win and it got him going but he's just doing whatever he can to get attention”
Here is a clip of that transcript:
Then just a few nights later, the Indiana Pacers flew to Boston to face the 2nd best team in the Eastern Conference — the Celtics. The Pacers had no trouble with Boston in the first half and scored over 70 points with a lead of up to 29 throughout.
Tyrese Haliburton finished with 33 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal which led the Pacers to victory. He made multiple big shots and plays down the stretch and was 12/24 from the field.
Wally apologized to Haliburton on a broadcast during the following Knicks game:
“I want to address something I said about Tyrese Haliburton being a 'wannabe All-Star': I want to apologize personally to Tyrese Haliburton…wonderful young player…definitely in the All-Star conversation, along with guys like Julius Randle & Jalen Brunson”.
This was all-around unprofessional but I can promise you Haliburton isn't losing any sleep over his comments. Haliburton’s case for the All-Star game is strong — leading the league in assists while averaging nearly 20 points per game is pretty good I would say.
Personally, Tyrese Haliburton deserves All-Star consideration. In year three he is an opposing coach's nightmare and has shifted the narrative of the Pacers being a tanking team to a wildcard in the Eastern Conference. A weird move from Wally to single out the leader of a team that has been competitive in the conference.
You can see the difference in pace this team plays with when he is on the floor and he proves his basketball IQ nightly. He has been what Pacers fans have desired for many seasons and his play has pushed this rebuild along much quicker than it would have been.
Head coach Rick Carlisle shared his thoughts after the game vs the Celtics:
“Tyrese Haliburton is our All-Star. In less than a year he has completely changed the trajectory of this franchise. He has completely changed the vibe. Nights like tonight (vs Boston) show the type of great young player that he is… in the biggest moments he found a way to get the ball in the basket or find guys… he is an amazing young player, an amazing young man and he is our All-Star”
Now, no more time shall be spent on the matter because Tyrese Haliburton shut down the foolishness of Szczerbiak. The All-Star run will continue for Tyrese on Friday as the Pacers face the Miami Heat.
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