Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Ship log: Scal optimistic about return
By Chris Forsberg
Chris Forsberg / ESPN BostonA Celtics flag hangs from the front of the Spirit of Boston cruise ship.
BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics hosted a charity fundraiser for the team's Shamrock Foundation Tuesday night with a sunset cruise on the Spirit of Boston. Celtics players Brian Scalabrine, Glen Davis, and Kendrick Perkins were on hand for the festivities. Here's a couple notes from the event:
Asked about the potential end of the Scalabrine Era in Boston, the ninth-year veteran smiled and noted he's a Celtic until Thursday and hopes to be in green long after that as well.
"There's no question I want to be back in Boston, no question, everyone knows that," said Scalabrine, who stressed that his first preference is another run at a championship with the Celtics' core intact, regardless of his role.
"As far as me and Boston and the Celtics, whatever my role is going to be -- whether I start or make an unbelievable run in the playoffs like I did two years ago and contribute by playing 30 minutes per night, or not playing at all -- whatever they ask me to do, I'm all for it."
Scalabrine then paused and asked if coach Doc Rivers had announced a decision on his future yet. Informed he hadn't, Scalabrine looked into the TV cameras and said, "I hope he comes back. My man, we need you."
While he won't garner the sort of around-the-clock stakeout Ray Allen and freshly opted-out Paul Pierce will when free agency opens Thursday, the Celtics could use a guy like Scalabrine back, too. He's one of the few selfless players in the league who can log 40 straight DNPs, then step in and contribute in a starting role when a starter goes down due to injury.
Scalabrine earned $3.4 million last season, but it's hard to imagine teams are going to offer much more than the veteran minimum for a utility (and sometimes simply an emergency) player. But Scalabrine remains optimistic about being back in Boston and he remains in the area this offseason, working out at the team's practice facility in Waltham as he rehabs from right shoulder surgery he underwent a week after the NBA Finals to remove bone spurs.
But he's excited about whatever the future holds.
"I'm just an optimistic guy," said Scalabrine. "If I don't have a job in the league and I gotta go to Europe, I'm optimistic. It's weird, right, in this league? ... If [I'm not back in Boston] I still have my wife, two kids, I'll still love them, still move on. I'm raising two little girls to become special people. That's how I look at it."
As for his free agency plans, Scalabrine kept it typically light, noting he "scheduled all the top teams to come in and talk to my camp." Asked if he felt slighted he wasn't invited to the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh free agent summit, Scalabrine couldn't resist a jab.
"I think they were actually disappointed they weren't part of the NBA Finals," he quipped.
As for where he thinks James will end up, Scalabrine made a pitch for one of his former teams (and one that could also be interested in adding Scal's services again): the New Jersey Nets.
"I can tell you where LeBron should go," said Scalabrine. "If I'm LeBron, I'm going to New Jersey. They've got a solid center [Brook Lopez] and room for two [max-contract] guys. They've got a point guard [Devin Harris] and they just drafted a pretty good forward [Derrick Favors]. With signing another big name like Bosh, [Carlos] Boozer, or [Amare'] Stoudemire, they've already got a very good big man and the new rookie who's very good, you have a team that can contend for a championship. And don't forget Courtney Lee, who's been to the Finals before and done well. If I'm [James], I'm going there."
DAVIS JUST WANTS TO DANCE; MUM ON GAME 7, FREE AGENCY
Celtics forward Glen Davis didn't care to talk much about the past (Boston's Game 7 loss to the Lakers) or the future (Davis evaded questions on Rivers and the team's free agents), and said his focus was on the present before boarding the ship.
That present involved putting on his dancing shoes, Tweeting about the festivities, and discussing the television show True Blood.
Davis politely brushed off a question about Game 7 ("I don't want to talk about that."), then did the same when asked about re-signing the likes of Ray Allen ("I don't have anything to do with that... so next question.") and Rivers' future ("I haven't talked to Doc, I'm just here on this cruise ship... That's all I want to talk about.")
Davis did tell reporters that he was enjoying his summer vacation and how he returned home to Baton Rouge, La., to visit his mother.
He revealed he's been watching a lot of True Blood and noted that Anna Paquin's "Sookie Stackhouse" is his favorite character. He also noted he planned on letting loose on the cruise dance floor Tuesday night.
"It's time to relax and have a good time," said Davis. "I'm going to kick off my shoes... and party on down."