October 25, 2011
Few American basketball players get mocked more than Brian Scalabrine(notes): He stays at the end of the bench, is only sort of in shape in a league full of athletic specimens, and has red hair. When you think about it, he never had a chance.
This season, however, Scal is plying his trade in Italy with Benetton Treviso, one of the most successful clubs in Serie A history. Unlike in America, he's not warming the bench. In fact, it looks like he's starring.
This highlight video, taken from a recent game against Avellino, shows Scalabrine at his best. He hits open shots from the perimeter, drives by defenders, and even plays some impressive defense. He looks like an all-around (if unathletic) talent on the order of Larry Bird, and I don't entirely mean that as a joke. The European style suits him well, and their announcers pronounce his name with considerable flair.
It's enough to make you wonder if he'll even bother coming back to the NBA when the lockout ends. A fat paycheck is nice, but people also like to be appreciated for things other than their skin tone and general goofiness. Follow your dreams, Scal. There's more to life than high-fiving Derrick Rose(notes) after a dunk.