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Full disclosure, this memory is from 2007 and I have seen zero tape of it since. It is possible that the characters of Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes have been confused for each other. Also, beers may or may not have been consumed during the watching of this event. Let's proceed.

In March of 2007, a Celtics NBA Championship seemed impossible. Set to play the Timberwolves, they had former Celtics legends (legendary assholes) Ricky Davis and Mark Blount coming to town. Last time they met, a late Ricky Davis jump shot sealed the Minnesota win, and he and Mark Blount celebrated beating their former team like it was their NBA championship. In hindsight, it was the closest those two would get to one, so now it somehow seems less enraging than it did at the time.

In this meeting of two fledgling teams in the dog days of the regular season, Troy Hudson hit a late three in regulation to force OT. The C's led again in the first OT, but Kevin Garnett hit a deep three to force a second overtime. KG had a monster game, draining clutch shots and playing with his famous intensity on the way to a triple double. No word on if Ricky Davis was missing shots on purpose so KG could pad the rebounds.

In double OT, Kevin Garnett backed down an overmatched Ryan Gomes (if my memory is wrong here and it was Al Jefferson, I apologize to Mr. Gomes) and hit back to back 15 footers before the double team could get there. Here is where Scalabrine showed he was more than a red headed sideshow threatening to put Lucky out of a job. Rather than watch this happen again, which Doc Rivers seemed fine with, he yanked Gomes by the jersey to switch on to KG for the entry pass. He did not swat Garnett's jumper into the stands, and he did not pick his pocket. He sturdied up and turned his 15 footer into an 18 footer. Those back to back swishes turned into a brick, and the Celtics lead was protected.

They went on to win that game and it all came down to that play. It didn't show up in the stats, it wasn't mentioned in the post game, and the only person besides him who knew it happened was probably Gomes, and he sure as hell wasn't gonna mention it. But Scalabrine didn't either. That one play was symbolic of his entire NBA career to me. Doing whatever it takes to win, doing it against a guy 50x as talented as him, no matter if it gets noticed or not, in front of a crowd who only notices him for the wrong reasons, and not trying to do too much. Happy Birthday Scal.




Photo Credit: Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images




Follow Chris on Twitter @Thomp_26

Chris Thompson 3/18/2016 05:36:00 PM Edit
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