Recently revealed as one of the new contributors to Adrian Wojnarowski's The Vertical, Brian Scalabrine joined the latest episode of the latter's new podcast.
Included in the variety of talking points was the former NBA player and coach's short D-League stint with the Santa Cruz Warriors back in 2013-14. Scalabrine was let go from then-Golden State head coach Mark Jackson's staff (something he also discusses in length) midway through and subsequently re-assigned to assist the minor league affiliate for the rest of the season.
"I went to the D-League and that was an adventure," he said. Scalabrine "enjoyed" his time with Santa Cruz as the team ascended up to the minor league finals before falling to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
As one of the grittiest, but still well know, respected, and fan-favored role players in recent history, Scalabrine undoubtedly found longevity in the NBA because he carved out a niche for himself and understood what he could offer big league teams. The method to his respective madness is something all promising D-League players can learn from. There's no doubt that regardless of the circumstances behind his re-assignment, he added value during his short time in Santa Cruz.
But that doesn't mean his stint wasn't without a bit of culture shock and somewhat of a scare along the way. The NBA vet told Wojnarowski, "I had my moments. I was in the Hacienda Hotel, and we were playing the D-Fenders in the D-League playoffs. I didn't know what the deal with this place [was] --- I went from the Four Seasons / Ritz, to flying commercial. I couldn't even get an exit row! It was bad, right? All of the sudden, I'm sitting up in my room, and the building starts to shake. It starts to rock!"
He continued, "Immediately, I think, this is how it ends for the Mamba. I'm going to die in an earthquake at the Hacienda, coaching in the D-League. This is not the legendary end I had in mind!"
Funny story, but there's no doubt there's a world of difference between the way NBA people live, and the lifestyle and accommodations available in the D-League.