Tyrese Haliburton has a chance to show he's not a "wannabe All-Star"

The Pacers player was called a "wannabe All-Star" a year ago by a Knicks analyst. He's got a shot to show that he's the real deal.
May 2, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles the
May 2, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) dribbles the / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers are taking on the New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs. It's the renewal of a rivalry that was frequent in the 1990s. Reggie Miller had plenty of famous moments in numerous series against the Knicks, including one that sparked the name of this website.

This year's version of the Pacers get a chance to also shut this year's version of the Knicks up. Tyrese Haliburton has more of a reason than any to want to vanquish the Knicks and move on to the Conference Finals. Wally Szczerbiak provided that motivation a year ago.

Haliburton was voted an All-Star last year, which was well deserved. He averaged 20.7 points and 10.4 rebounds on 49% shooting and 40% from three a year ago. Those are the kinds of stats that true All-Stars put up. Despite this, Szczerbiak called him a "wannabe All-Star".

Tyrese Haliburton looks to get revenge and have the Pacers move past the Knicks

Since that comment, Haliburton has had some big moments against the Knicks in the regular season. He put up a 22-point 23-assist night at the garden earlier this year and stared him down in the process. Haliburton doesn't forget slights, as evidence by his tweet after the Bucks series.

The playoffs are a whole different level though. If Haliburton puts up those kinds of numbers in the playoffs, he becomes a Pacers legend forever. That's especially true if he does it against the Knicks. He would truly put that "wannabe All-Star" comment in the pantheon of bad takes.

Against the Bucks, he averaged 19.7 points, 9.3 assists, and 5.8 rebounds. He shot just 43.5% from the field and 29.6% from three. He's going to have to be better than that against New York. The Knicks are a much better team than the rag-tag team Milwaukee put out there in round one.


Haliburton has a chance to put himself among the greats starting in Game 1. If he takes down the Knicks, he becomes an all-time great Pacer overnight. Let's see if he can rise to the challenge.