"This is exactly the same thing we saw when Michael Jordan left the league," said commissioner David Stern. "We have a great product, but the casual fans turn away when a sport's biggest star, in the case of Michael, or its biggest punchline, in the case of Brian, step away. It takes time to get that audience back."
The 11-year NBA veteran says he agonized over his decision.
"I know I still have what it takes on the court to make people laugh," said Scalabrine. "In fact, I think my game is as comical as ever. But what else is there really I can accomplish? Who hasn't dunked on me? What awkward post move have I not done? Sometimes you have to say 'Enough' and let your body of hilarious work speak for itself. If people need me to cheer them up, get an NBA bloopers DVD or just search for me on YouTube."
It would have been longer, but you know. Limited video to work with.
2001: New Jersey Jets president and general manager Rod Thorn selects Scalabrine in the 2nd Round of the NBA Draft on a dare.
2002: Scalabrine keeps his roster spot with the Nets thanks to a clerical error.
2003: Scalabrine wins a Golden Globe Award for Best Male Supporting Actor (Comedy) for his hilarious bit appearances playing basketball on TNT.
2004: Scalabrine starts and is the go-to player on offense for Team USA at the 2004 Olympic Games.
2005: Scalabrine signs a personal services contract with Boston Celtics with the requirement of "being white, having red hair and wearing a Boston Celtics jersey."
2006: Scalabrine scores the first points of his NBA career when a teammate's shot is blocked off of his forehead and deflects into the basket.
2007: Kevin Garnett spends a 72-hour period screaming at Scalabrine and slapping him in the face. Scalabrine calls the experience "the most I've ever felt part of a team."
2008: Scalabrine rides the bench for the Boston Celtics, yet wins an NBA championship ring with the team making him a better basketball player than LeBron James for four years according to one form of talent evaluation.
It's funny because he's terrible at basketball.
"Brian really was the definition of a 12th man this year," said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. "He sat at the end of the bench, rarely got to remove his warm-ups and, in the few instances he actually got into a game, made no impact other than providing the fans some laughs with his awkward and error-prone play."
Scalabrine played 28 games in the 2011-2012 season, starting none, and averaged 4.4 minutes played in those 28 appearances with 0.8 rebounds per game, 0.5 assists per game and a 0.1 scoring average for 32 total points on the season.
"I don't like to base my votes on awards completely off of stats," said TNT broadcast Ernie Johnson. "But you can't overlook what Brian did not do this year. He was completely worthless. A true 12th man. He deserved this I want to say honor? But that doesn't sound right. He deserved this recognition. Let's go with that."