Szczerbiak as analyst on CBS Network.
|Born|| March 5, 1977|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lbs (109 kg)|
|High school||Cold Harbor|
(Cold Harbor, New York)
|College||Miami (OH) (1995-1999)|
|NBA Draft||1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Playing career||1999-2009 (10 years)|
|Jersey No.(s)||10, 55, 3|
|Career highlights and awards|
Walter Robert Szczerbiak is a Spanish retired professional basketball player and current sports analyst for MSG Network.
During the fall of his senior year in high school Szczerbiak and his parents made a visit to the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The following Monday, despite Walt's wishes for Wally to wait on making a decision, Szczerbiak called coach Herb Sendek and committed to play college basketball for the RedHawks. In his first two seasons there he averaged 8.0 and 12.8 points. As a junior in 1997-98 he burst onto the scene as one of college basketball's leading scorers, averaging 24.4 points per game and earning first-team All-MAC honors despite missing several games with a broken right wrist. In his senior season he averaged 24.2 points per game and led the RedHawks to the Sweet 16 in the 1999 NCAA Tournament as a #10 seed. Szczerbiak scored a career-high 43 points in a first-round win over #7 seed Washington. He followed that with 24 points in a second round toppling of #2 seed Utah, leading the Redhawks to the Sweet 16. Despite Szczerbiak's 23-point performance they would eventually lose to Kentucky 58-43. Miami finished the season 24-8. Szczerbiak was named MAC Player of the Year, and first-team All-American by Basketball News and Sports Illustrated and second-team All-American by the Associated Press (AP). He finished his college career as Miami University's second all-time leading scorer, with 1,847 points. A marketing major, he graduated from the university's Richard T. Farmer School of Business. In 2001, Szczerbiak became the fifth Miami player to have his jersey retired (#32). In 2009, he was inducted into the Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Minnesota Timberwolves (1999–2006)Edit
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Szczerbiak 6th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft. His best year as a pro was in 2002 when he was a coaches' selection to the Western Conference All-Star team. Later he tied a Timberwolves franchise record of 44 points on April 13, 2003, since broken by Kevin Love. Szczerbiak was coming off the bench for the 2004-05 NBA season. He was uncomfortable with the role and wanted to be a starter. In the 2005-06 season, the former all–star returned to the starting role.
Boston Celtics (2006–07)Edit
On January 26, 2006, Szczerbiak, along with Michael Olowokandi, Dwayne Jones and a conditional first–round draft pick, was traded to the Boston Celtics for Ricky Davis, Mark Blount, Marcus Banks, Justin Reed, and two second-round draft picks. Szczerbiak underwent knee surgery in the 2006 offseason to fix a knee which had been injured for several months. In the 2006-07 season, Szczerbiak played well early on, including a 35-point performance against the Charlotte Bobcats early in the season. However, he was soon plagued by several injuries to both ankles, which greatly affected his shooting and jumping ability. Szczerbiak decided to have season-ending surgery on his ankles.
Seattle SuperSonics (2007–08)Edit
On June 28 (the night of the 2007 NBA Draft), the Celtics traded Szczerbiak to the Seattle SuperSonics along with Delonte West and Jeff Green (the 5th overall pick) for Ray Allen and Glen Davis (35th overall).
Cleveland Cavaliers (2008–09)Edit
On February 21, 2008, Szczerbiak and teammate Delonte West were traded by the SuperSonics to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3-way deal involving the Chicago Bulls, who also sent Ben Wallace and Joe Smith to Cleveland. Szczerbiak played in 25 regular season games (one start) with the Cavaliers averaging 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. He scored 18 points against Detroit on April 16, 2008. Between the SuperSonics and the Cavaliers, Szczerbiak played in 75 games (two starts) and averaged 11.5 points and 2.9 rebounds. During the 2008 NBA Playoffs Szczerbiak started at shooting guard for the Cavaliers, helping the Cavs defeat the Washington Wizards in the first–round by putting up 26 points and shooting 6–13 from the 3 point line in game six against. For the playoffs, Szczerbiak averaged 10.8 points per game. During the 2008–2009 NBA season, Szczerbiak played in 74 games, starting in 5 of them. Given 20 minutes a game, Szczerbiak averaged 7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting .450% from the field and .411% from the 3-point line.
During the offseason Szczerbiak's contract with the Cavaliers expired. The acquisitions of guard Anthony Parker and forward Jamario Moon from the Toronto Raptors made the free agent expendable and Szczerbiak went unsigned. He'd earned $63 million from a contract he had signed back with Minnesota, and (roughly estimated) $74 million during his entire NBA career.
On November 5. 2009, Szczerbiak revealed he'd had a career-ending third surgery performed on his left knee three weeks earlier. A week later he reportedly rejected a league veteran's minimum contract offer from the Denver Nuggets, opting instead to continue to rehabilitate his knee and possibly test the free agent market later. Another contemporary report had him mulling a broadcasting career after a tryout with the New York Knicks reportedly fell through.
Szczerbiak succeeded in making the transition to sports broadcasting, becoming a basketball analyst for CBS College Sports. Currently, he is an analyst at MSG Network covering the New York Knicks and contributor to the teams' post-game broadcasts.