Wally Szczerbiak apologizes for Haliburton comment: 'I ended up to be completely wrong. I own that.'
Haliburton finished with 22 points, 23 assists and two glances at Wally Szczerbiak, who later told Fieldhouse Files: "I wish him nothing but success and obviously I was wrong in that situation.”
Indiana Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton had a little extra juice for Saturday’s game, to say the least. Coming off a special performance in Chicago — 21 points, 20 assists and 0 turnovers in a win — he had just the motivation he needed for the final game in 2023.
Remember Wally Szczerbiak’s “Mr. Supposed Wannabe Fake All-Star” description? Because Haliburton does and certainly always will.
Haliburton played in the following meeting against the Knicks, back on Jan. 11, but he didn't finish the game. Then, the Pacers played them twice over the final three games last season but Haliburton was held out.
So Saturday night was the first time Haliburton played and could respond — with his play.
The New York Knicks had no answer for Haliburton all game. And late in the Pacers’ 140-126 win, he crossed Donte DiVincenzo over right to left, took a hard dribble to the basket and then finished as he was fouled.
“And-1! And-1!” teammate Myles Turner shouted.
However, the Knicks called timeout before he attempted the free throw with 5:50 left. And this all took place right in front of the Knicks’ bench and the MSG broadcast booth. After retiring in 2009, when Haliburton was just nine years old, Szczerbiak has served as an analyst for the Knicks’ local TV broadcast.
So Haliburton — who finished with 22 points and 23 assists, which matched the franchise record held by Jamaal Tinsley — stared at Szczerbiak and appeared to say “C’mon Wally. C’mon Wally!”
When asked about Szczerbiak postgame, Haliburton replied “Who?” before the full question was asked.
Later, it was clear that he didn’t want his name and game to elevate Szczerbiak’s. I asked him about the feud, whether he can put it behind them or if it’ll always serve as motivation.
Haliburton paused for three seconds to gather his thoughts, then answered.
“I feel like it’s a one-sided feud. I never said anything about that guy. I’m not familiar with his basketball ability or anything about him so it’s in the past for me. I’ve moved on. Ask him how he feels now.”
So I did.
Szczerbiak talked with me shortly after completing his postgame duties on MSG Network.