Boston Celtics

Catching up with Brian Scalabrine: Part 2


Catching up with Brian Scalabrine: Part 2

By Jessica Camerato

Earlier this week, Brian Scalabrine looked back on his career with the Boston Celtics. In Part 2 of this exclusive series with, he looks ahead to the upcoming season with the Chicago Bulls, including playing for Tom Thibodeau, fitting into a new system, and returning to the Garden as the opponent.

Brian Scalabrines time in Boston may have come to an end this summer, but the connections he made on the team were the start of a new beginning.

As Scalabrine hit the free-agent market, former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau was stepping into the head coaching role for the Bulls.

Both Thibodeau and the Bulls organization were familiar with Scalabrine. Thibodeau had been on the Celtics coaching staff for the past three seasons and the Bulls' front office had seen Scalabrine play his entire career in the Eastern Conference.

"Tom, being our old assistant coach, really wanted me to come along," Scalabrine explained. "He saw me play for three years and he liked what I could do off the bench. He liked my locker-room presence. He knows whether I'm playing, not playing, I'm always going to be the same guy. He knows that he can count on me."

Scalabrine signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Bulls in September. He had kept an eye on them over the summer as they made moves to bolster their roster, including the acquisitions of Carlos Boozer and Ronnie Brewer. Scalabrine knew the direction Thibodeau wanted to take the Bulls, and was excited by their potential.

"Every guy that they signed, it was like, that's a good guy, he's a hard-nosed player," he said. "Carlos Boozer really fits in well with Derrick Rose. We've got shooters on the wing. I hear great things about Ronnie Brewer and his defensive energy. So when you start hearing this as it goes along, you start saying, 'I could see myself really fitting in here.' "

Even in a new uniform, Scalabrine sees himself playing a similar role on the Bulls as he did on the Celtics. He looks to spread the floor, add energy off the bench, and step in should a teammate go down. (Earlier this week, Boozer suffered a broken hand.)

When Scalabrine isn't playing, he says he can help with rotations and use his work ethic to serve as an example of professionalism on the team.

My role is not going to be, 'I'm starting for the Chicago Bulls,' " he said. "That's not my role. My role's going to be all of the above, those other things."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers believes "those other things" will benefit the Bulls.

"Scal is more important than people think," he told "When he's not playing, he's low maintenance. When he's playing, he does the right thing for your team. He's the guy you want at the end of your bench. It's a good pickup for them."

Scalabrine enjoyed playing under Rivers and now feels the same about playing under Rivers' former assistant. He believes that like Rivers, Thibodeau pays attention to the little things and puts a spin on the game that sets him apart from other coaches.

"He's a great teacher and a great communicator," Scalabrine said. "He did it well when we were in Boston, but him and Doc always played off each other. Tom would get us going in a drill and Doc would chime in, or Doc would get us going in an offensive drill and then Tom would come in - 'Screen and step. Open to the ball. Be strong with it.' Now, it's him teaching. I knew he was a good communicator and I knew he was a good teacher, he's just better than I even imagined then. He's very thorough in what he does."

This season, Scalabrine is dedicated playing for Thibodeau and to helping the Bulls succeed. He understands the reality of a non-guaranteed contract, but believes he has the skill set to play for the team. That would mean a return to the Garden against the Celtics on November 5.

Even though Scalabrine is open to coming back to Boston after his career is over to work in local television or for the Celtics organization, those days are in the future. Now he is focused on coming back to Boston to get a win.

"I don't want to play for anybody else but the Bulls," he said. "My focus is right here. My focus is on us winning an NBA Championship."

Spoken like true team player.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato.

Kyrie Irving says details of relationship with LeBron is 'not anybody’s business'

Kyrie Irving says details of relationship with LeBron is 'not anybody’s business'

CANTON, Mass. – LeBron James has embraced the fact that Kyrie Irving has moved on, but you get a sense that there’s still a bit of ‘what if. . .?” that James is still thinking about.

"I was wondering if there was something I could have did better to make him not want to be traded," James told reporters during Cleveland’s Media Day on Monday. "Is it the way the season finished, or, was it me coming back in the first place? Was it the coaching changes or the GM change, or, I don't know. I had so many different emotions go through my head."

When told about James wondering if there was something he could have done better to not make him ask for a trade, Irving responded, “Yeah.”

Irving declined to get into specifics, saying, “If we ever have that conversation, I don’t think it’s for anybody but me and him.”

He added, “Even if there are things, it’s really not anybody’s business. It’s between two men. That’s really where it is.”

Irving, a four-time All-Star in his six seasons with the Cavs, asked for a trade request in July.

Cleveland talked to several teams, and were seemingly focused on trying to send him to a team in the Western Conference.

While there was considerable interest, the Cavs didn’t see any deals come across their desk to their liking which is when they rekindled conversations with Boston.

After initially coming to terms of a trade, Cleveland was concerned that Isaiah Thomas’ still-on-the-mend hip injury was more serious than they had initially thought and asked for additional compensation in the form of a first-round pick.

The Celtics indicated during their initial talks that Thomas might not be ready at the start of the season. His timetable still remains uncertain, but reports out of Cleveland indicate that he may be ready to play prior to January.

Both Boston and Cleveland found a happy medium with the trade eventually being Irving to Boston in exchange for Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a 2018 unprotected first-round pick from Brooklyn along with a 2020 second-round pick Boston got from Miami, that they conveyed to the Cavs.


Horford: 'Trying to figure out the best way to help' after Hurricane Maria


Horford: 'Trying to figure out the best way to help' after Hurricane Maria

CANTON, Mass. –  Hurricane Maria ravaged a number of Caribbean Islands, including the Dominican Republic – the home of Boston Celtics big man Al Horford.

“My immediate family is OK,” Horford told during Boston’s Media Day on Monday. “But we look at everything in the big picture. We were very lucky in comparison to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, a lot of smaller islands.”

Hurricane Maria hit the Dominican Republic with heavy wind and rain but delivered a much more powerful punch to other islands.

Puerto Rico has been devastated by the storm which has knocked out most of the electricity on the island along with heavy flooding.

The U.S. Virgin Islands was hit hard as well.

While the Dominican Republic wasn’t hit quite as hard as some other islands, they too are going through what’s likely to be an extended recovery period.

“We do have a lot of flooding,” Horford said of the Dominican Republic. “There’s a lot of need.”

Horford intends to address that need in some capacity.

“Right now, we’re trying to figure out the best way to help down there,” he said. “We want to make sure whatever we do as far as money and help-wise, it’s going to the people in need.”