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Wally Szczerbiak Apologizes to Tyrese Haliburton for 'Wannabe Fake All-Star' Comment

Adam WellsDecember 22, 2022

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 21: Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers walks on to the court on December 21, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Wally Szczerbiak is attempting to end his brief war of words with Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Szczerbiak, an MSG Network television analyst, apologized on the air for calling Haliburton a "wannabe fake All-Star" player.

New York Basketball @NBA_NewYork

Wally Szczerbiak: "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 &amp; Jalen Brunson..." <a href="https://t.co/rvt7YZZ4Wm">pic.twitter.com/rvt7YZZ4Wm</a>

The original comment was made by Szczerbiak on Sunday when he was doing highlights of the Knicks' 109-106 win over the Pacers.

"Mister supposed wannabe fake All-Star with a big miss," Szczerbiak said about a shot attempt from Haliburton.

In an interview with B/R's Taylor Rooks, Haliburton said he had "no clue" what made Szczerbiak say that and he may have been "doing whatever he can to get attention."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Tyrese Haliburton responds to Wally Szczerbiak calling him a "wannabe All-Star" 👀<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/TaylorRooks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@taylorrooks</a>) <a href="https://t.co/S9sdzz6Ixo">pic.twitter.com/S9sdzz6Ixo</a>

Perhaps Szczerbiak got carried away in the moment after the Knicks defeated Indiana for their seventh consecutive win.

Whatever the reason was, it's a strange comment to make about a third-year player in the midst of a breakout season that's at least deserving of All-Star consideration.

Haliburton is averaging 20.0 points and an NBA-best 10.6 assists per game in 30 starts. He is shooting 47.2 percent overall and 38.9 percent from three-point range on a career-high 7.4 attempts per game.

The Pacers have been a pleasant surprise so far. They were projected to have one of the lowest win totals this season, but currently rank eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 16-16 record thanks in large part to Haliburton's performance.