There were few players of Brian Scalabrine’s talents that were as beloved in the NBA. He never made an All-Star team, led the league in scoring and will likely not make the Basketball Hall of Fame. In spite of these developments, basketball fans have supported Scalabrine for most of his career.
Scal say he loves the many endearing names fans have called him over the years (Vanilla Godzilla, Veal Scallopini and the White Mamba) but he recalled his time in Chicago as a special time in his pro career.
In a recent sit-down with the Players Tribune, Scalabrine said he found himself as a player during his time as a reserve with the Bulls. It was the first time he would be content with his role on a team.
When I was with the Celtics, I thought it was a little disrespectful when the starters would bust their ass to get us at a 15-point lead, and then fans would start chanting my name. I felt like it deflected attention away from the team. I didn’t really get it. But in Chicago, I really just bought into the whole thing. I decided I wasn’t going to fight it anymore, and gave the people what they wanted. When I got into the game, I’d try my best to get a quick bucket just to rev the fans up. It was a blast. I remember one time Joakim Noah said to me, ‘Scal, you know, you look like you can’t hoop … but you can really hoop!’ I don’t think I’ve ever earned a nicer compliment.
Ironically, Scal averaged a career-high 6.7 points per game when he was with the New Jersey Nets. He failed to score more than 1.2 ppg when he was a Bull from 2011-2012 and was yet one of the team’s more popular members.
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