News Ticker

Scalabrine a Natural For Broadcasting

Brian Scalabrine pushes aside a crab salad and reclines into his wooden chair. In the back corner of the Will McDonough press room, deep inside the underground tunnels of TD Garden, he’s wearing a carolina blue dress shirt with a floral pattern imprinted around the collar. The jacket of Scalabrine’s navy suit is draped over the back of his seat.

The Boston Celtics’ road color commentator runs a huge, pale hand through his fire-red hair as he remembers his debut NBA broadcast.

“I was in Turkey and they were playing Fenerbahce and luckily they ran a ball-dominant offense with Bo McCalebb, because I couldn’t pronounce anybody else’s name on the team,” Scalabrine says with a throaty chuckle. “So, if Bo came off the pick-and-roll and threw back to somebody and [they] shot it, ‘Man what a great pass by Bo!’ If Bo was on the bench and they made a bucket I would say, ‘You know, that all started with Bo McCalebb breaking down the defense and getting that guy a wide open shot.’ It was great, navigating through how many different ways I could say Bo McCalebb.”

That overseas odyssey was three years ago. One of the biggest NBA personalities of the last decade, Scalabrine has now settled in at Comcast Sportsnet. “He’s a fun guy. He’s a very high-energy person and he’s got a zest for life,” says Tommy Heinsohn, the former Celtics head coach and longtime color analyst.

Scalabrine went viral during an in-studio appearance for FOX Sports 1 last December, when he recalled a legendary story of Kevin Garnett defeating Glen Davis in an arm wrestling match on the team plane. As a result of his recent success, Scalabrine will begin an online video series with Yahoo! Sports dubbed, “The White Mamba Minute.”

“Some of it’s fun. Some of it’s going to be informative. They really buy into my personality,” Scalabrine says. One of the first videos features Scalabrine arguing that elite NBA superstars actually aren’t paid enough. There will be a running gambit called, “The Prestigious Redhead of the Week.” “Blake Griffin wins it every week,” Scalabrine cracks. “And then Matt Bonner wins it one time. So I’ll be like, ‘Let’s update our scoreboard! The update is: Blake Griffin, 36 weeks in a row; and, Matt Bonner… still at zero! Back to you guys!’”

“He’s a great storyteller,” Bonner says. “A really funny, great personality.”

During CSN’s live coverage of this past June’s NBA draft, after the Celtics selected Georgia State sharpshooter R.J. Hunter with the 28th overall pick, the 6’9”​Scalabrine contorted his large frame into an arm wave dance before high-fiving the broadcaster to his left.

“That’s ‘Scal,’” Scalabrine says. “That guy is made up. ‘Scal’ didn’t exist in 2001.”

Scalabrine officially joined the network before the 2014–​15 season, announcing his commitment to CSN in a hilarious mimic of LeBron James’s Sports Illustrated essay. “I piggyback off of major super stars,” Scalabrine says. “Once LeBron came out with that picture, it was done.”

His foray into broadcasting came only after Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers offered Scalabrine an interview for Steve Kerr’s coaching staff. Scalabrine was the only member of Mark Jackson’s staff that Myers asked to return. “I didn’t want to be that guy where it’s like, ‘You threw him under the bus or sold him out or any of that stuff,’” Scalabrine says. “I just wanted a clean break.”

Scalabrine officially joined the network before the 2014–​15 season, announcing his commitment to CSN in a hilarious mimic of LeBron James’s Sports Illustrated essay. “I piggyback off of major super stars,” Scalabrine says. “Once LeBron came out with that picture, it was done.”

His foray into broadcasting came only after Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers offered Scalabrine an interview for Steve Kerr’s coaching staff. Scalabrine was the only member of Mark Jackson’s staff that Myers asked to return. “I didn’t want to be that guy where it’s like, ‘You threw him under the bus or sold him out or any of that stuff,’” Scalabrine says. “I just wanted a clean break.”

To read the full article visit Sports Illustrated where it was originally published

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.