December 05, 2011
We fully submit that some of the words in this rant from Benetton Treviso coach Alexander Djordjevic might be skewed by the translation, but what is clear is that the Italian League coach is quite cheesed off that former Nets, Celtics and Bulls forward left his team last week in order to hunt down a free agent deal with an NBA team.
Scalabrine had been playing quite well in Italy, as Eric Freeman detailed (with video!) earlier in the fall. And though his two-month contract was supposed to act as a trial, Djordjevic appears hurt the most by the fact that Scal is the first overseas player to jump back to the NBA (he, and we, hope) without an NBA contract awaiting him stateside.
Here's the coach, from Eurobasket.com:
"A disappointment on the human side, I didn't expect that. This is my personal opinion. [Scalabrine] was the first NBA player in Europe to go back to the USA without a contract, without playing the latest games and help the team and greet the fans, all at 33 years ago only for going on his knees to his wife that wanted him back.
He hasn't a team and an NBA contract yet. I was counting on his professionalism, respect for the club and especially for his young teammates. He could help us at least until tomorrow, the team needed it, but Scalabrine had a very negative attitude, as already shown in recent weeks, which gave us not so much on the field and beyond, indeed he has also negatively influenced other Americans. We're thrown off by this, thinking of a serious professional, but caused problems with teammates and club.'"
(We're going to chalk up the "going on his knees to his wife" comment to something muddled in translation. And if it wasn't muddled, well … that's just good husbandry.)
This really doesn't come as much of a shocker until you read the part about Scalabrine owning "a very negative attitude" even before he split to come back in search of an NBA deal. After all, each of Scal's NBA coaches has lauded his professionalism, and his work with the Chicago Bulls last year as a type of player-coach should not be dismissed in the slightest despite just 88 regular season minutes played.
In helping Tom Thibodeau explain his defensive schemes to a young Bulls team last year, Scalabrine played a strong role with the team that ended the season with the NBA's best record. If I can put on my Bulls jersey, pantsuit, and beer-helmet (I own none of those, but would love the helmet) for a second, I would love to see Scalabrine on Chicago's bench again this year, and you know I'm more than mindful of his advanced (or box score) statistics.
Alexander Djordjevic? He's not as keen. But you know that old Italian League saying: "You only rant in a strangely-translated screed on a basketball website against the ones you miss and possibly envy for their sturdy marital relations."