Thursday, February 27, 2014
OT: Players notice Scalabrine's return
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- The chants started midway through the fourth quarter, like they always used to.
The Chicago Bulls were up by 28 points when a few fans starting screaming for Brian Scalabrine -- the former Bulls backup forward and current Golden State Warriors assistant coach.
They grew louder, as they always did, once the final few minutes ticked off the clock.
By the time the popular former bench player made his way off the floor and his Warriors had been dealt a 20-point loss, Scalabrine was high-fiving some of his old fans on his way back to the locker room.
Some things never change.
While the outpouring of support may surprise some, it certainly didn't phase Scalabrine's former teammates in Chicago. They have come to expect it.
"He's a popular dude," Bulls guard Jimmy Butler said. "It would have been crazy if he had ripped off his suit and had the Bulls jersey on underneath. That would have been great."
Scalabrine's time with the Bulls was short -- just a couple of seasons -- but his popularity, and work ethic, made an impact on his former teammates.
"I loved it," Bulls center Joakim Noah said of the respect shown to Scalabrine. "I loved it. We were just talking about that with Scal before the game. It's so funny because just because he's a redhead who looks kind of nerdy and all that, people think that it's a joke. They look at Scal like it's a joke, like, "Ah, the 15th guy, Scalabrine," and chant his name. But he's one of the hardest working players I've ever been around. And he can really play.
"So all you guys that think that, 'He's just one of those guys in the NBA, I could beat Scalabrine,' you guys are wrong, man. You guys are wrong. That guy used to work his ass off; but [the chants] just show what kind of presence he had here in Chicago. People loved him."
Myers gets T'd up: It's rare for an assistant coach to get technical fouls during games, but that's exactly what happened to former Bulls player and Bulls coach Pete Myers on Wednesday. Now an assistant coach with the Warriors, he was assessed a technical foul in the third quarter for arguing -- much to the delight of one of his former pupils.
"I loved it," Noah said. "I loved it. I was happy that he let his presence be felt in the building. But Pete Myers, since I got to the league, he's always the guy every time I was down, every time I was going through something, he was kind of like my psychologist. So to see him get a tech, it just showed me that he's definitely not a good psychologist."
What's next: The Bulls fly to Dallas on Thursday afternoon. They face off against the Mavericks on Friday night.
The last word: Noah, on Kirk Hinrich's performance. The veteran guard held Golden State sharpshooter Stephen Curry to just five points (2-for-10 shooting) on the night.
"Kirky Wirky was really big tonight. He did a good job, and he played with a lot of intensity. Kirky set the tone for the game with his pressure, his tenacity, and that was big."