Of the millions of people around the world who play basketball, fewer than 500 are in the NBA at any given time. Fewer than 150 are in the WNBA Before retiring in 2012, Brian Scalabrine spent 11 seasons in the NBA, more than most players made at that level. He won a championship as a reserve Boston Celtics in 2008. He is 6-foot-9 and about 250 pounds.
Yet strangers cannot seem to stop challenging Scalabrine for a one-off game. Last month, A. The viral video showed Scalabrine being challenged In a gym at a high school in Taunton, Mass. Scalabrine, playing the role of a teenager for a pair of sneakers, beat her 11–0.
Scalabrine, who averaged 3.1 points per game for his career, said that this happens to him regularly, and interactions with other undrafted former players showed that it is the same for him. The 43-year-old Scalabrine, according to him, looked “tickled on television compared to some of the best athletes in the world”, and was not known as a counterattack or scorer.
Still, Scalabrin survived the league by rarely making a mistake, being versatile on defense, and developing a reputation for shooting 3s.
“Being a white NBA player from the suburban, I have to level up,” Scalabarine, who hails from Long Beach, California, and is often referred to as the White Mamba, a play on the Kobe Bryant Black Hamba surname is.
“People don’t understand how much less crazy you need to be to maintain an NBA career,” Scalabrine said. “Especially when you are not that talented. You have to be ready. You have to get up for the fight. You have to be like this every day. And if you are not, you lose your livelihood.”
Scalabrine has, to some extent, invited ongoing challenges. Shortly after retiring, he participated in the promotion of the Boston radio station’s “Scalanges”, in which top local players played him one on one. Scalabrine wins Every game with a big margin.
Of course, Even top players Challenges are found in the NBA, often in youth camps where they run. Those clips go viral and go with glee. Blocking shots of children And teenagers are many feet younger than him. Rarely, Challenger would win, in 2003, when John Rogers, who was then the 45-year-old chief executive of an investment firm, Beat the recently retired michael jordan Jordan defeated 20 others in one game after another at a camp in Jordan.
But for players who are not, or are not, the face of the franchise, they are challenged in a different way, as can Michael Sweetney. The former Naik, who played in four seasons in the NBA from 2003 to 2007, said in an interview that he was challenged “all the time”. In fact, 38-year-old Sweety said that it happened just a few weeks ago by two former high school basketball players at a gym in Florida, where he was working with children at a basketball camp.
“I think they were thinking that by the time I was removed and retired, ‘Hey, I could probably challenge that,'” said Sweetney, who averaged 6.5 points a game in 233 games. “It was fun because they tried to stop me.”
Sweetney said: “I was like: ‘I’m telling you, I’m not going to take it easy. You challenge me, it’s going to be competitive. It ended up being a Scalabrine-like situation. I made one 11-2. Defeated one and the other like 11–1.
Sweety said the two challengers were surprised, who is now an assistant coach at Yeshiva University. It was another reminder: When a player makes the NBA, no matter how long he is, at that moment, he is one of the 500 best basketball players in the world.
“Yes, I’ve been removed,” Sweetie said. “I’m probably not in NBA size. But you still have talent and people think that if you are not a superstar, they may have a chance against you.
“They don’t know that even the 15th man on the bench is better than the average man walking on the street.”
Celbricks, who is a television analyst for the Celtics, has enjoyed reminding the public. NBA end-players may have to work harder than the stars to stay in the league as a missed assignment can make the difference between having or not having a job.
“I can go to any gym and I can sometimes find some of the best players going through the motions,” Scalabrine said. Can you imagine 15 years? Perhaps even more is never going through a straight motion like 17, 18? “
He said that professional athletes, even retirees, have an extra gear that an average person cannot tap into. He called it a “dark place”.
“I’ll always say things, like in a game, ‘If I miss this next shot, my kids are going to die,” Scalberin said. “I would say that to get myself through, just to pressurize so that I can lock up and make a shot.”
Many WNBA Teams Bringing the nonprofit men to play in practice, which 28-year-old forward Cheyenne Parker for the Atlanta Dream entered its seventh season, was described as diplomatically a “great competition” because “they are strong and Are fast. “
She added, with a laugh: “But efficient?” Yes. “
Parker said she was often challenged – “especially being a tall woman.” She was playing pickup in Chicago last month, where she lives, when an arrogant man started talking nonsense to her.
He said, “We start the game and I get my first chance to touch the ball.” I like to work on my moves during pickup so I do this nice curry move. “I mention Nets star Kerry Irving, known for his ball handling skills,” Parker said. He said, ‘I scored this round on his face. Everyone went, ‘Oh!’ It was ridiculous. “
Asked why fond people were so willing to challenge basketball’s basketball players, Parker said: “That’s why a man I would never do, Never give me a chance, I still have the confidence to come and ask for my number. Do you know? It is the same type of confidence that these people also feel they can beat a professional. “
Adonal Foyle, who played in the NBA from 1997 to 2009 Mostly reserved for Golden State, Stated that he faces similar challenges in retirement when he goes home to the Caribbean. Basketball players are more likely to be challenged than other athletes, Foyle said, because they are more visible. They do not wear masks while playing, and fans can sit in court. But there is also a misconception among amateurs that athletics keeps players in the league, he said.
“The basketball players at the end of their careers are like Chinese films,” said Foyle, 46. “You have this silver fox.” He comes in and realizes that he is the one from the grave. And then he starts doing karate. And you’re like: ‘Oh my goodness. I did not know that he could do it all. ”
Skelebryn called the “dark spot,” Foyle, the “stupid gene” – the switch that professional athletes have when testing their competition.
“You go to the gym. You try to play with the regular people. You’re having a good time,” Foal said. “Someone tries to dip on you. Immediately, you flip that switch, ‘Okay, you’re going down.’ For me, what I always worry about is not killing the other person. How much of my body can take this stupid gene. “
Foyle said he has not played pick basketball in seven years. Instead, he prefers racquetball, where he “defeats 75-year-old children who see themselves as geniuses.”
“One of the reasons for doing this is also because I got hurt almost every time and I played the pickle ball because of that stupid gene,” Foyle said. “You think you can do the things you did 15, 20 years ago and you can’t. You don’t have to shut down the person who defined your life. I felt it best not to enter the fray. “
For Scalabrine, the reason he consistently acquires his skills goes beyond the challengers’ confidence.
“Joakim Noah called it the best,” Scalabarin said, referring to his former teammate on the Chicago Bulls. “They said, ‘Scale, you suck the way you look, but you don’t suck.”