Jake Fischer at SI.com has written a pretty amazing feature on Brian Scalabrine and how his personality is a natural fit for NBA broadcasting. The navigation of Scal's career is pretty fascinating. His life has featured a good deal of improvisation for someone who knew his role in the NBA so well.
But the brilliance of Brian Scalabrine was no accident. Similar to how professional wrestling recreate themselves for the arena, "Scal" was born from a big personality and a passionate relationship with fans.
Sporting News named him an All-American honorable mention following his redshirt-junior season [at USC]. In his senior campaign in 2000-01, Scalabrine led USC to a 24-10 record and the NCAA Tournament.
With his on-court abilities finally shining through, Scalabrine discovered himself. Brian began to give way to "Scal."
"The one place in the world where I felt 100 percent comfortable: Basketball. You could do anything that you want, you could say anything that you want," Scalabrine says. "There were no ulterior motives. You just competed. I would never be thinking about my contract or if a girl is going to like me. That's why I became such a talker."
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."
"Boston fans really embraced 'him,'" Scalabrine says. "I knew I wanted to [broadcast], so I started reaching out to Comcast even as a player. A persona had to be created."
It's a great read that you need to go check out. The opening teaser alone should sell you:
"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."