That’s the word that Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott used to describe his rookie season.
A year ago, he was a First-Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference player for the University of Virginia, runner-up for its player of the year award and capable of dominating games. In the final regular-season game of his collegiate career against Maryland, the 6-foot-8 Scott posted 35 points and 11 rebounds in powering his team to a 75-72 overtime victory.
As a second-round pick last year for the Hawks, he has registered a “did not play – coach’s decision” 34 times, unable even to get on the court. He has spent two different stints in the NBA Development League, four games in early December and three games as recently as late March.
Through it all, Scott has persevered and he has worked – traits for which he was richly rewarded on Saturday in a 99-97 loss at San Antonio when he posted career highs in field goals (eight), attempts (15), minutes (36) and points (22) to go with six rebounds.
“Mike is a worker, man,” teammate Al Horford said. “I think, for him, he really hasn’t been able to showcase his ability because Josh (Smith), myself -- there’s a lot of guys ahead of him (on the depth chart). But he’s a great kid. He’s a worker. He’s in here every day, every morning -- even before me, he’s in here working and what you guys saw doesn’t surprise me.
“He works on his game so much that that’s what I expected of him. Hopefully, that shows coach and gets him confidence he can put him in there and he can contribute for us.”
To Scott’s credit, he did not crow about the performance against the Spurs. He felt in some ways he could have done more.
“I don’t know if I would say satisfying,” Scott said. “I only had six rebounds. I had to fight off DeJuan Blair and (Hawks center Johan) Petro. Petro was taking all the rebounds (15).
"When your name is called, you’ve been on the bench watching, you’ve got to be productive, no matter if it’s scoring, rebounding or playing defense. Making sure you’re productive in your minutes out there.”