The short term and long term futures of Shawne Williams are suddenly in flux. For the short term, Shawne will not travel with the Pacers to Toronto for Friday's game, but he isn't suspended. Here's an updated story on the arrest pf the
friend, friend of a relative, shirt-tail acquaintance (?) of Shawne Williams. Larry Bird cut to the chase in addressing the situation.
"We've got some players that's been in situations not once but twice, maybe three times and it drags the other players down. We have some fine young men here that's taken a hit for some of their teammates and that's not what you want," Bird said.
"We've got to do the things necessary to get back the public trust and get fans supporting our team," Bird said.
"Mr. Williams did not invite this individual to either visit or stay at his home. ... It would be entirely inaccurate to assert in any way that Shawne assisted the person who is now in custody."
Shawne gave us lip service in September about watching who he keeps company with off the court, but the ties that bind to home are tough to break. Unfortunately, staying loyal to bad people could start derailing Shawne's career. He received a pass for the September incident, but now a another police report with Shawne's name tied to a murder suspect damages his value. The Pacers are trying to win back fans but these off-court issues have turned lots of fans away. Shawne's status as a cornerstone for the future of the franchise has to be reconsidered. The Pacers are in no position to invest heavily in an unreliable, young player. Shawne is only 22, quite personable, and can be a great asset to the Pacers eventually. But as of today, Shawne has a ways to go on the court and off before proving he's worthy of such investment.