Tyrese Haliburton Screen grab: Bally Sports Indiana

Wally Szczerbiak’s take that Tyrese Haliburton was a “wannabe fake All-Star” was more than questionable at the time.

But in the year since the former NBA forward-turned-MSG broadcaster made the comment during a New York Knicks win over the Indiana Pacers, Szczerbiak’s take on Haliburton has aged like milk.

Not only was Haliburton selected for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game — which he was quick to troll Szczerbiak over — but he has since emerged as one of the NBA’s best young guards (or guards, period, for that matter). And his impressive 2023-24 campaign continued on Saturday night as the Iowa State product scored 22 points and recorded 23 assists in a 140-126 Pacers victory over the Knicks.

Throughout the performance, Haliburton stared at the MSG broadcasting booth, where Szczerbiak was seated. The Bally Sports Indiana broadcast made note of the gesture, as well as the Pacers star’s history with Szczerbiak.

According to the New York Post, Szczerbiak — who had previously apologized for his comment — revealed on the MSG postgame show that he had made amends with Haliburton’s father during his time in Indianapolis.

“It went really well,” Szczerbiak said. “I told him ‘My apologies, that was not my finest hour’ when I called his son a ‘wannabe fake All-Star.’

“He’s an absolute superstar. He showed it today, it was on display. John Haliburton was a great guy. He said ‘Don’t worry about it. We’ve all had moments like that, and we forgive you, my man.’”

Tyrese, however, doesn’t appear to have moved past the slight.

Asked about staring down Szczerbiak, the 23-year-old replied, “Who?” He later admitted that the comment served as motivation for him, but also downplayed it by referring to it as “extracurricular activity.”

“That’s a really good team over there coached by a really good coach, so anytime you get to compete against a team like that, you gotta be ready to play,” he said. “All that other stuff is extra, just having fun playing basketball.”

[New York Post]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.