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SQ Exclusive Interview With Brian Scalabrine

Brian Scalabrine, former Celtic and newest member of Comcast SportsNet's broadcasting team. (Credit: Jamie Wexler)

SQ’s Bobby Eghbali sat down with Brian Scalabrine, aka “The White Mamba” for a one-on-one interview.

The “White Mamba” is a rare specimen. There’s only one remaining on this planet, and he also goes by the name of Brian Scalabrine. An NBA Champion, NBA fan favorite, first-team All-Pac-10 member, and former USC Trojan, Scalabrine can truly be described as a “Renaissance man.”

All great things eventually come to an end, and in 2012, Scalabrine eventually retired from the NBA. That didn’t stop this legend. Today, he’s a television analyst/announcer for the Boston Celtics on Comcast SportsNet. He famously made the decision of this “homecoming” by making a spoof (see below) of the famous Sports Illustrated cover of LeBron James‘ decision to return to Cleveland.

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The news that shook waves through the “Twitter-sphere.” (Credit: Brian Scalabrine)

The Interview

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Wow Scal, you’re really good at making a 6’ 2” guy look 5‘8”“.
 -what I’m thinking (Credit: Max Holm)

If you thought he was done playing basketball, look again, as Scalabrine decided to lace them up again for The Basketball Tournament (TBT) in California State, Los Angeles this summer. TBT is an open-application, 5-on-5, single-elimination, winner-take-all basketball tournament. The prize for the winning team is $1 million. There are certain requirements to be in the tournament, but the two teams with the most fan votes in each region as of June 1st earned a spot. There are four different regions: West (Los Angeles, CA), South (Atlanta, GA), Midwest (Chicago, IL), and Northeast (Philadelphia, PA). 

After the game, Scalabrine blamed himself for not stepping up and allowing Lavender to fire away from deep (Credit: Bobby Eghbali).

Scalabrine’s team, Grantland, was coached by the Spurs’ Matt Bonner, and featured former NBA star Mike Bibby. Jason Williams was also on Grantland’s roster and was expected to play in the tournament, but Grantland failed to advance, losing in stunning fashion to 7outz (see in the video above). Famous actor Michael Rapaport was also present as a part of Grantland, and Reggie Moore was a huge part of Grantland’s success in their time in the tournament (including his sick poster-dunk).

Despite being on the losing side of a big upset, Scalabrine was kind enough to take the time to sit down for an interview with me (I recommend changing the video quality to HD).

Basketball Career

Brian David Scalabrine was born in Long Beach, California. He enrolled at Highline College in 1996, and redshirted his second year there were he averaged 16.3 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. He eventually was a Northern Division All-Star in 1997, and led his team to a victory in the state junior college championship. His high level of play there attracted the University of Southern California, where Scalabrine would transfer to in 1998. 

In his first year at USC, he led the Trojans in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage. He averaged 14.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, and shot 53.1% from the field. Scalabrine’s play earned him the 1999 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and an All-Pac-10 honorable mention. In his second year with USC, he was named to the All-Pac-10 first team, and again finished the season as ‘SC’s top scorer. Senior year consisted of much of the same for Scalabrine, including an Elite Eight appearance, but an eventual loss to Duke would knock out the Trojans. As far as  academics, Scalabrine graduated with a degree in history. Image title

Scalabrine coached on the Golden State Warriors’ staff for one year before taking his talents back to Boston (Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports).

In the 2001 NBA Draft, the “White Mamba’s” NBA career became a reality when he was selected as the 34th overall pick in the draft, by the New Jersey Nets. Scalabrine would spend four seasons with the Nets, where he would play with the likes of Jason Kidd, Kerry Kittles, Richard Jefferson, Kenyon Martin, and Vince Carter. During his first three years with New Jersey, he didn’t average more than 10-13 minutes per game. However, in his last season as a Net, Scalabrine averaged an eventual career high of 6.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 21.6 minutes per game. 

He then moved on with his NBA career, signing a five-year contract with the Boston Celtics worth $15 million. He continued to play a solid amount of minutes per game, until his last season as a Celtic where it dipped under 10 minutes per game for the first time in his NBA career. It was more than the minutes, as the experiences Scalabrine had with the Celtics built life-time friendships with players such as Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett. In one of the biggest highlights of his career, Scalabrine would be a part of the Celtics’ 2008 championship victory over the Lakers in 6 games. 

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Scalabrine served as a mentor to players such as Joakim Noah in his time with the Bulls (Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports).

After his unforgettable time with the Celtics, Scalabrine would sign with the Bulls where he played more of a veteran mentor role for the team for two years, averaging less than five minutes a game. 2012 would be the last year Scalabrine played NBA basketball, but he didn’t leave the game as he attempted to pursue opportunities in broadcasting, turning down the Bulls offer to become an assistant coach.

However, Scalabrine would return to the league and spend a year as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors under Mark Jackson‘s staff. That leads us back to today, where as mentioned above, Scalabrine works for Comcast SportsNet. 

The End

Special thanks to Brian Scalabrine, again, for sitting down with me and also to SQ’s very own, Dylan Turk, for editing the interview video.

Edited by Jeremy Losak, Ken Barker.

Who was the first pick in the 2001 NBA Draft?
Created 7/20/15
  1. Kwame Brown
  2. Tyson Chandler
  3. Pau Gasol
  4. Eddy Curry

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