Bulls player recap: Brian Scalabrine
Position: Forward | Age: 34 | 2011-12 salary: $1,352,000
Season recap: Scalabrine played the same role this season that he played during the previous campaign. He was a pseudo coach throughout the season and only saw action in 28 games. Scalabrine actually played a handful of meaningful minutes in January while the Bulls dealt with myriad injuries, but his value was in practices and in the locker room as a sounding board for players and Tom Thibodeau.
Season highlight: In the regular-season finale against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Scalabrine knocked down a jumper as the clock wound down. As usual, the crowd exploded in applause when the shot went through. He explained moments later that it was the same spot on the floor Michael Jordan knocked down his final jumper as a Bull.Indiana Pacers as part of an offense/defense switch with Carlos Boozer, Derrick Rose found Scalabrine for a wide-open 3 that would have given the Bulls the lead, but Scalabrine missed the shot, leaving a packed United Center feeling blue.
Notes: Scalabrine remains one of the most popular players in the NBA. No matter what city the arena was in, fans still went crazy, chanting his name wherever the Bulls played.
"So there's three incredibly loud cheers every game that you can count on," Kyle Korver said in February. "The first one is when the doughnut races the coffee races the bagel and everyone swears they pick the coffee. The reality is not everyone picked the coffee, but everyone cheers like they picked the coffee. Two is when we score 100 points and everyone gets a free Big Mac or whatever they get. And three is when Scalabrine comes in the game. Guarantee, every single game, the crowd goes nuts no matter where we're at."
Quotes: "What's funny is the perception of myself is clearly different than when I'm out and about," Scalabrine said in January. "My perception of myself is, I don't believe I'm the 12th man, the 13th man, the 15th man on a team. I believe that I'm a good basketball player that can go out there and play. Now, I'm not unrealistic. I know right now there are four bigs that are all better than me. I'm not unrealistic in that. But when I wake up on a gameday, I feel like I'm playing that day. "And if something happens, I'm going to play 40 minutes, I've got to be ready to play 40 minutes. This happened to me in the past. I played big minutes and I had to keep playing and playing and playing. And you have to be ready for that. You can't just, because you're not playing, not work. I work every day like I'm going to be playing basketball for 44 minutes a night."
What's next?: The Bulls have to decide if they want to bring Scalabrine back next season. The veteran forward has said he would like to continue to play, but he knows this may have been his final season. If he is not brought back, the affable student of the game could have broadcasting or coaching jobs waiting for him.FINAL GRADES -- Regular Season: C Postseason: N/A (he didn’t play)