Brian Scalabrine is the Celtic that most fans love to hate. He is a hard working player that isn't necessarily good at anything but is a good "energy guy" and a good "locker room guy" according to Danny Ainge and most reports. He has been voted as one of the nicest guys in the league by his peers, but on a team loaded with more talented players, he is often the least popular player on the team. Although, his red hair guarantees that he is high on Tommy Heinsohn's list.
Scalabrine played his prep basketball at Enumclaw High in Enumclaw, Washington. He attended Highline Community College and averaged 16.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game as a freshman in 1997, helping lead Highline to a 31-1 overall record and the state junior college championship. He red shirted his second year at Highline. He then transferred to the University of Southern California and was named the 1999 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year and also earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors as a 1999 sophomore ... He was the only Trojan to start all 28 games.
On graduating from USC, he entered the NBA draft and was chosen in the second round by the New Jersey Nets with the 35th pick overall. He played sparingly his first 3 seasons in New Jersey. His fourth season he seemed to come on a bit more and averaged 6.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 21.6 mpg. He became a fan favorite in New Jersey.
After 4 seasons in New Jersey, Scalabrine signed a 5 year deal with the Celtics worth 15 millions dollars. Like Danny Ainge, Scal depends on the Brain Doctor for advice. Much has been made of his brain type being the same as Michael Jorndan's and some feel this is why Danny signed him.
He has several nicknames. In college, his nickname was Red because of his very obviously red hair. After being chosen by NJ in the draft, they started calling him Secaucus Red. Former Nets assistant coach Mike O'Koren nicknamed him "Veal" because he thought Brian's last name sounded like an Italian dish and the nickname has stuck. However, he very much dislikes being called Veal. Another of his nicknames is Scal.
On the personal side, Brian has 2 brothers and 1 sister. He married Kristin Couch in August of 2003 in Hawaii. He is very active in the community and started the Brian Scalabrine “Take it to the Hoop” Basketball Camp in Stamford, CT and runs several basketball camps for kids during the summer. Last season he shaved his head to benefit kids with cancer and is very involved with charities in the area.
The last 3 offseasons, he has participated in the SEEDS of Peace camp in Otisfield Maine where he was a counselor for campers from all over the Middle east.
Doc has played him a lot more these past two years than most Celtics fans wanted him to play. He is the player most fans would like to see cut from the team or traded. He seemed to be out of shape his first season and never really fit in. He played in 71 games, averaging 13 mpg, 2.9 ppg, and 1.6 rpg. His second season he was in better shape and played better than his first season but still didn't excite many fans with his play. In his second season, he played in 54 games and averaged 4.0 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 19 minutes per game. Last season, his third with the team, it was felt that with a veteran cast around him, he would come closer to the success he had in New Jersey. But, he took a step backward instead, playing in 48 games and averaging 1.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and .8 assists in 10.7 minutes per game. He did start in place of KG for the 9 games he missed and did a good job of holding down the fort until KG returned. He spent the playoffs on the inactive list. There has been speculation as to whether Danny is looking to make a trade in this offseason and at the heart of every trade scenario is Scal. It will more than likely take one of the Celtics young and talented players to be able to trade him, though.
Scal has been billed as a scorer and 3 point shooter and he certainly hoists up enough 3's during games, but for his career, he is only shooting 39% from the field and 35% from beyond the arc. Even Rondo, for whom shooting is known as a weakness shot 49% from the field last season.
Obviously, Scal is a good teammate and good guy. He was voted to the first team "All Good Guys Team" last season. He is always the first one off the bench to congratulate a teammate coming off the floor and is always cheering his teammates when he is on the bench. When Tony Allen went down with the knee injury, Scal drove him to the hospital, in spite of having a knee injury of his own. Tony's mom was with him and voiced her concern that they didn't call an ambulance to take him and Tony told his mom, "Don't worry Mom. This is better than an ambulance. This is Scal!" For what he is being paid, I guess having him there to be an energy guy and a glue guy and to help with the comradery in the locker room isn't all that bad. We could do a lot worse. We could have Mark Blount...A player with Scal's skill set AND a bad attitude.