I miss Veal
In a prior post on this subject, we looked at the top hairstyles and facial hair in the team's history. Thanks for the great suggestions on who was left out. To me, aside from Starbury's head tat, the most glaring omission was the red head himself, Brian Scalabrine.
Now, I guess you could argue that the color of Scal's hair has nothing to do with grooming. But he was clearly a unique figure on the basketball court and he was perhaps the most recognizable because of the color of his hair. He just stood out like a sore thumb.
I understood people's frustrations with his contract early on in his tenure, but I also could understand the need to have a veteran locker room guy that could be a positive influence on the kids in the pre-Big-3 era. Plus, I really do believe that he had some solid fundamentals that didn't show up in the box score that helped the team be more competitive.
Later, I suppose I could understand why fans flipped around and sort of adopted Scal as a mascot of sorts. But it never really sat that well with me. He's a grown man and a professional basketball player and it couldn't have felt very great to be treated like a walking Gino or the pudgy kid at the end of the JV bench. He deserved better honestly.
With all that said, he handled it all with grace and dignity and for that I salute him. There's a chance that we could face him and the Bulls in the 2nd round. I haven't heard anything about this so far, but it wouldn't surprise me if he's playing his last season as well. If that's the case, I'd really hope to see him stick in the league as an assistant coach - either for Tom Thibbodeau or right here in Boston for Doc Rivers.
But he's not done yet. Like it or not, he might just have to endure being a considered a mascot or lucky charm one more time.
In the past 10 years, only two teams seeded No. 1 in the Eastern Conference have advanced to the NBA Finals and Scalabrine played for both of them. "The last 10 years, New Jersey Nets (in 2002) and Boston Celtics (2008) are the only two teams — and I was a part of both of those?" he asked once more. "Well, let’s just keep it rolling."
Well, I'll be rooting for the Celtics of course, but if the Bulls happen to advance past us, I'll be pulling for old Scal to keep going. If only to see him up on the podium once more.