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Brian Scalabrine credits Jason Kidd for turning him into the White Mamba

White Mamba was honest about the fact that without Kidd, he'd be out of the NBA in three months.
New Jersey Nets guard Jason Kidd and Boston Celtics forward Brian Scalabrine

Jason Kidd and Brian Scalabrine

Brian Scalabrine has been the butt of jokes since God knows when. It’s a sad reality given that he was once a solid role player, especially during his stint with the New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets. He became teammates with a prime Jason Kidd, whom he credits for prolonging his career and turning him into the White Mamba.

Playing with Jason Kidd

Scalabrine was the 34th pick of the 2001 NBA Draft. He had an injury-riddled rookie season and averaged 2.1 points across 10 minutes. In the four years he spent donning the Nets jersey, Scalabrine made the playoffs four times.

In Scalabrine’s first season, he tasted the NBA Finals. In Game 5 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals, he dropped 17 big points against the Detroit Pistons. He’s thankful for this early chapter in his NBA career, especially to Jason Kidd.

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I know how fortunate I was to be a 23-year-old kid that was drafted by a team that went to the NBA Finals and made me a rotational player. And to add one more element to that: Jason Kidd made me way better than I ever was. Playing on his team allowed me to play 11 years in the NBA. I could’ve been drafted by another team and been out of the NBA in three months and I would’ve been playing overseas. I probably could’ve had a decent career overseas. I never would’ve played 11 seasons in the NBA if it wasn’t for Jason Kidd,” Scalabrine said, per Hoops Hype.

After his stint in New Jersey, he was picked up by the Boston Celtics for a five-year, $15 million contract. Scalabrine’s numbers showed minor improvement. But he proved a vital player for the Celtics. In 2008, the California native returned to the NBA Finals again. While he never played a single game in the playoffs, he was on the roster and therefore awarded an NBA Championship ring.

Born in the wrong era?

A closer look at Scalabrine’s playstyle would reveal that he might have been born in the wrong era. The man stood 6’9 and played the power forward spot. His reel shows that he usually camped inside the 3-point line. With the Nets, he was often waiting for drop passes from Kidd. In those rare occurrences, Scalabrine displayed decent footwork and calm. He even utilized a reverse pivot spin — a move the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, is known for.

Interestingly, Scalabrine’s biggest shot did not come from inside the paint. It was a short-corner 3-pointer in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons. The man had a confident and smooth stroke. It’s easy to imagine Scalabrine playing in this era where 3-pointers are a priority. Imagine if he played with someone like LeBron James, who never fails to spot the open man. Still, not a bad career overall.

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