The 4-5 Celtics play host to the 10-2 Chicago Bulls Friday night at the Garden.
Former Celtic and current Bull Brian Scalabrine spoke with Toucher & Rich about playing in Italy during the lockout, his popularity overseas, returning to the Bulls and his thoughts on the Green.
Like many players Scalabine headed overseas to play ball while the NBA lockout was in affect. What was it like trying to keep on eye on things going on with the negotiations and did he know that once it ended that he would get a call to return?
“My relationship with Tom last year, all I asked him to do was to be honest with me. I said do I have a chance to make your team and he was like yeah you have a chance. You got to come in play well, be in shape and I’m like well I’m ready, I’m in shape I’ve been playing 38 minutes a night in Italy.”
Was there a part of him that gained some confidence from the success that he had while in Italy?
“My confidence doesn’t waiver like that, I realize where I’m at in my life. I’m not like one day hey if you start me I can average 20, I feel like I can be a really good role player, I can be a role player on a good team that’s how I feel.”
The guys went on to discuss his popularity with fans while he was in Italy. Fans would bring banners in, sing songs about him at games and even gave him a nickname that followed back to Chicago, The White Mamba.
The Celtics have been struggling to get going this season and have many new pieces. What is the opinion of the Celtics in the Bulls’ locker room this season?
Paul Pierce really didn’t have much of a training camp if any due to a heel injury he was dealing with. This early part of the season is like his exhibition season. How long does it really take a guy to really get going if you don’t have a preseason?
“Guy who are skill guys you got to give them time, their games are going to take a bit to get going.”