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When Bulls forward Brian Scalabrine comes off the bench, it’s party time for two reasons.

‘‘That usually means we’re winning the game, which is great,’’ Scalabrine, a 10-year veteran, said of the first reason.

The second reason is because fans get a kick out of the redhead. They chant for him to play, cheer each time he gets a touch and erupt when he scores.

‘‘It’s that way on the road,’’ Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said jokingly. ‘‘I think he pays for fans to travel with him. I’m so tired of that chant.’’

So what’s up with this?

‘‘We love him,’’ longtime Bulls fan Rachel Greenfeld said. ‘‘He’s the team’s liveliest player on the bench, even though he seldom plays. So it’s great when he gets a chance to play.’’

Perhaps no 12th man in the NBA is more popular than Scalabrine. Few, if any, 12th men have lasted as long or pocketed the $18.4 million Scalabrine has earned during his years in the league. And he’s worth every penny.
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