Basketball is a great sport, and a fantastic way to get into and stay in shape. Millions of men and women around the world play it on a regular basis and of those millions, there are countless who dominate their local YMCAs or parks or wherever else — there are countless who believe they could hang with the worst players in the NBA.
There are countless who believe they could beat the likes of Brian Scalabrine, 11-year veteran of the League, but better known as the ‘Human Victory Cigar’.
While guys like Joakim Noah played, it was Scalabrine who heard his named chanted from the rafters of the United Center in Chicago. When games became blowouts and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was looking to rest his starters, the very last guy to always come off the bench was Scalabrine, and only when the there was absolutely no doubt as to the outcome of the game. It became a ritual for fans to scream for Scalabrine, who became a fan favorite without doing very much but relaxing courtside, collecting checks.
Or so those weekend warriors would like to believe.
Of course, the truth is that every single NBA player is better than everyone in every pickup game in every corner of the world, hands down. NBA teams do not simply dole out tens of millions of dollars to keep a guy around for a decade if he can’t hit shots and move and play defense when called upon — even if that player is rarely called upon.
Scalabrine, who retired over the summer after a very serviceable 11-year NBA career, took on four of Boston’s best ballers in 98.5 The Sports Hub’s 1-on-1 “Scallenge,” put on by morning hosts Toucher & Rich.
Listeners sent in their try-out videos, showing off their skills and talking some trash towards Scal, but it turns out even Boston’s best was no match for Scalabrine. [...]
Scalabrine — who spent the last few seasons of his career seen as the “human victory cigar” — easily defeated all four of his opponents, throwing down monstrous jams and sinking smooth jumpers as he beat them all by a combined score of 44-6.
Basically, not only does Scalabrine have the best nickname of all time with that ‘cigar’ thing, but he is also legitimately elite at basketball. The first guy he faced, Matt Tomaszewski, played for Syracuse just last year.
And if playing in the NBA didn’t prove it (it should have) then his efforts in a local gym against local talent did.