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Questionable Future For Shawne Williams

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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 to get all the information but we've got to be very clear on this: we don't want our players hanging around with murderers," Bird told reporters this afternoon at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"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.
Shawne's lawyer is quoted distancing his client from Little Bud.
"Shawne Williams wants to make it clear that the individual taken into custody by police during the Pacer game with the Chicago Bulls on February 27th was not a house guest of Mr. Williams," said the statement, issued by attorney John Tompkins. "The individual arrived at Mr. Williams' home after Shawne had departed to participate in the Bulls game, and Mr. Williams was unaware of his presence until notified by the police that an arrest had been made.

"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."
That's nice to hear, but there are some reported facts which force further scrutiny of Williams and the company he keeps and what that means for his long term future with the Pacers. How come the U.S. Marshal's Service in Memphis requested help from Indy police to track down Bohannon? And how come after such assistance was requested did a Fugitive Task Force simply set up camp outside Shawne's house? Obviously, Little Bud hasn't been hanging at Shawne's house otherwise he would've been pinched earlier, and I would like to believe Shawne was unaware of the murder, but save us the shocked and surprised act. Shawne didn't invite Little Bud to his house or even know he was in town, yet somehow LB comes and goes from Shawne's house in a truck registered to Shawne?

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.