Brian Scalabrine: ‘Embarrassing’ to anoint people superstars who don’t play defense

Photo: Kevin Garnett/YouTube screenshot

Former NBA player Brian Scalabrine, known for his time with the Celtics and winning the championship in 2008, shared his views on the NBA during a candid conversation on the KG Certified podcast with Kevin Garnett.

Scalabrine expressed his admiration for players who excel on both ends of the court, emphasizing the significance of two-way players in the league. Drawing from his experience with teams like the New Jersey Nets, Celtics, and Chicago Bulls, where players like Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, and Derrick Rose took immense pride in their defensive skills, Scalabrine stressed the importance of players being well-rounded.

“The things I don’t like about the NBA is when we anoint teams and players that aren’t two-way players,” he said. “So I like two-way players and I think a lot of that has to do with… so my career was Jersey, Celtics, Bulls and the best player was [Jason] Kidd, you [Kevin Garnett], [Derrick] Rose. You guys took so much pride defensively. So I just know the league like that.”

Scalabrine voiced his concern about anointing players solely based on offensive prowess, neglecting the defensive aspect of the game. He finds it disappointing when players are labeled as stars or future MVPs without demonstrating a commitment to both sides of the ball.

While the NBA often celebrates scoring and offensive highlights, Scalabrine believes that defensive contributions deserve equal recognition and consideration, especially when evaluating potential MVP candidates. A strong defense can often be the deciding factor in tough matchups and critical moments during games.

“I don’t like it when guys don’t take pride on that side of the ball,” Scalabrine continued. “I think it’s kind of embarrassing to anoint people stars, superstars or guys that we say they’re future MVPs and they ain’t playing both sides of the ball. And I don’t thing that we talk about that enough. When we talk about MVP and stuff like that, we only talk about offense. We don’t talk about the defensive side. So that’s the only thing I don’t like about the NBA now.”

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