Boston’s Brian Scalabrine is currently in the midst of a 7 game DNP streak, a stretch that led the Herald’s Steve Bulpett to suggest the power(less) forward is done and dusted as a Celtic. Celtic Town’s Jay King admits that while Scalabrine is currently “nursing a shooting percentage even Rasheed frowns upon,” he fondly recalls the pale player’s transformation from joke to respectable journeyman.
Before last season, Scal had done little to earn his any of his $15 million contract. He™d been largely a disappointment, becoming the butt of jokes more often than a difference-maker in games. I made jokes about him, too. It was tough not to: He™s as goofy, lumpy and, well, white as NBA players come. He was making $3 million a year to sit at the end of the bench, and once in a while play in a blowout.
But something weird happened last year: Jokes about Scal stopped being funny. He became a valuable member of the team, and played ” *gasp* ” well. With Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe out for the playoffs, and Mikki Moore struggling to find a pulse, Scal became the first big man off the bench. For anyone who™d seen Scal play in Boston, that would seem to spell disaster. But he was solid. Good, even.
He gave the Celtics 20 legitimate minutes per game, made 45% of his three-pointers, and even somehow found it inside that rounded body of his to defend Hedo Turkoglu and defend him well. The Celtics didn™t end up beating Orlando, but Scal wasn™t at all the reason why. He had proven his worth.