Few players have ever become so beloved while doing so little on the court as Brian Scalabrine. In his time with the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets, Scal has become a fan favorite for his extreme whiteness and affable nature. The extent to which he knows what succeeds on an NBA court, however, is still up for debate.
Since the Bulls were ousted from the playoffs in the first round, Scalabrine has served as a Celtics analyst for CSN New England. Before Wednesday's Game 2, he spoke to Rajon Rondo. If you take Scal's word for it, he gave Rondo advice that helped him have the game of his life. From CSNNE.com (via SLAM):
"Rajon, they're collapsing on you," Scalabrine said of his message to Rondo on Comcast SportsNet New England's pregame show. "Use your instincts, make plays. That's what you want to do. That's why you're so special. Your instincts are off the charts. If you see a layup, shoot a layup. If you [see] a pass, make the pass. Trust your guys: trust Ray Allen, trust Paul Pierce. And I feel like he feels that he needs to be more aggressive making basketball plays . . . If 20 shots is what it takes, that's what it takes. Rajon Rondo needs to be more aggressive in making his players around him more better."
Usage of "more better" aside, this is some solid advice to anyone who isn't a high-level basketball player. However, it also seems like total analyst boilerplate, to the point where it's more effective as an explanation of what Rondo does than as legitimate advice for the player himself. Rondo is perfectly aware that he needs to trust his teammates and "be more aggressive making basketball plays," whether that involves shooting or passing. All Scal really said here is that Rondo needs to play well.
Plus, as Trey Kerby noted at The Basketball Jones, there's something pretty weird about Scalabrine freely offering advice to a player who's not like him whatsoever. What Scal seems to be doing here, more than anything, is building up his own reputation as a basketball thinker as he potentially transitions into another sort of job in the sport. As a pending free agent who hasn't made valuable contributions to an NBA team in quite some time, Scalabrine might not attract much interest on the open market. It might be a good idea to do everything he can to carve out a spot in the commentating world as soon as he can.
There are less shameless ways to do that, but this one might be very effective. If it helps Scal get a job, it'll have been worth it. Above all, the man knows how to make himself employable without offering much tangible use.
- Sports & Recreation
- Brian Scalabrine
- Rajon Rondo
- New Jersey Nets
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