The suspense for Bulls fans is finally over. The team re-signed Brian Scalabrine on Monday to a one-year non-guaranteed contract.
OK, so maybe there are still a few things hanging, like the expected arrival of Richard Hamilton and a possible trade pitch for Dwight Howard. But the Bulls are glad to have Scalabrine back.
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Why? Not for the 1.1 points he contributed in 18 games last season.
Scalabrine, 33, is more than just a man of the people. He brings a strong presence to the locker room and serves as an unofficial player-assistant coach because he knows Tom Thibodeau's system so well. Scalabrine played in Boston while Thibodeau was an assistant to Doc Rivers.
The 6-foot-9 forward was a contributor early last season, but didn't play much once Carlos Boozer returned from a broken hand.
During the lockout, he joined Benetton Treviso in the Italian League, averaging 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in seven games.
Benetton coach Aleksandar Djordjevic complained to the local media that Scalabrine was the first American player to leave his European team without a contract, and felt he could have stuck around to play in Tuesday's game against Bayern Monaco.
Obviously, Scalabrine knew he'd be welcome to return to the Bulls. He's been with the team since training camp began last week, but the Bulls were waiting for approval from FIBA, the international governing body, before the signing could become official.
Tickets for every Bulls home game for the 2011-12 NBA season will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at Bulls.com, 1-800-4NBA-TIX, the United Center and Ticketmaster. Season tickets and group tickets are available now at (312) 455-4000.