clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steve Clifford is recruiting Brian Scalabrine to help with the Hornets 3-point shooting

The White Mamba is currently working as a broadcaster for the Boston Celtics.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

During his recent interview on SiriusXM radio, Steve Clifford mentioned that he was trying to recruit former NBA player Brian Scalabrine to help with the team's 3-point shooting. That's right, the former Boston Celtics player, commonly referred to as the, "White Mamba," and less commonly referred to as "Veal Scalabrine" and "The Ginger Ninja" could join the Hornets staff in some capacity this season (it's unclear whether he would work as an assistant or specialist). Keep in mind that "could" is a lot different than "will." Scalabrine is currently working as a broadcaster for the Boston Celtics, and as there is no other information about his recruitment to the Hornets other than what Clifford said, it's unclear just how far into this process both parties are.

Scalabrine's name carries a bit of weight for NBA fans who followed Boston's championship run and the several playoff runs that followed. Individually, his career wasn't that remarkable — his career averages are 3.1 points, and 2.0 rebounds in just 13 minutes per game. His "legacy" came with the Celtics during the years of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, coming off the bench to hit 3-pointers in several important games. He came to be relied on by Boston (and to a lesser extent the Chicago Bulls when he played for them afterwards), but it wasn't just his reliability that made him famous, but also the fact that he looked like an out of shape dad trying to keep the dream alive by hooping against 16-year-olds at the local rec center. Scalabrine was slow, ran ridged, and sometimes wore a thick white headband, but he knocked down a number of big shots and became a fan favorite for it. His physical appearance made some even question his basketball ability, which he cemented by holding a one-on-one contest with amateur players and beating all of them. Statistically his NBA career wasn't noteworthy, but he obtained a cult status that still holds today.

So could he help the Hornets? While he wasn't the lights out shooter Mark Price was (Scalabrine's career 3-point percentage is only 34.4) his shooting mechanics were fundamentally sound. He comes with coaching experience as well, having worked as an assistant for the Golden State Warriors last season, who, by the way, are pretty good at perimeter scoring. While he isn't an experienced NBA assistant, coaching appeared to be the next career move for him until the Celtics hired him as a broadcaster.

Scalabrine's recruitment seems in part to be about helping Cody Zeller, whom Clifford has said on more than one occasion is ready to shoot 3-pointers. Scalabrine played as a Stretch-4 man for much his career, and could help Zeller not only with his shooting form but also develop ways he could create shots for himself playing that position. He could also help Noah Vonleh, who appears to have 3-point range, at least from the top of the arch.

In all, this seems like a good idea for the Hornets. While they will need to draft/sign true perimeter scorers this offseason, helping the current players on the roster extend and improve their shooting range is just as important. If Scalabrine could help with that, by all means bring him in.