LAS VEGAS — Based on his season a year ago, Mike Scott realizes he's fortunate to even be in the NBA.
He had knee and ankle issues that led to the worst season of his career and that was compounded by a legal issue.
"I wasn't healthy for the most part. Trying to fight through injury with knee and my ankle, going back and fourth to the D-League," he said of his fifth season with the Atlanta Hawks. "I sucked. I wasn't healthy. Right now I'm 100 percent. I have no other issues."
Scott had left ankle surgery last July and overcompensated for it to the point he aggravated his left knee, too.
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He had to undergo platelet-rich therapy treatments and rehabiliate it but it never responded until after he was traded by the Hawks to the Phoenix Suns only to be wavied.
Scott, who signed for the veteran minimum of $1.3 million, had surgery to the same ankle during his senior year at Virginia.
This all was on top of a legal matter that had been hanging over his head since July 2015. The courts, however, vindicated him. Scott was a victim of a shakedown by rogue law enforcement.
In May, a Superior Court judge determined that Scott and his brother, Antonn, were targeted in a racial profiling scheme when they were pulled over in a rented SUV.
The judge found Scott's version of events more credible.
"Last year, it was a bad year for me. I'm grateful for the opportunity," said Scott, who had career lows of 18 games played, 2.5 points and 14.8% three-point shooting. "It wasn't looking good for me. Off-the-court issues, injuries, it's a great opportunity for me to have a brand new start. I really want to play. I'm healthy."
Then-teammate Thabo Sefolosha had his leg broken in an incident with law enforcement in New York in 2015. He was paid $4 million in a settlement and donated a large portion to a non-profit that trains public defenders. Scott has different plans.
"I'm going to flush it. Put it behind me," he said.
"I said the same thing to my little brother. ... Start brand new, start fresh and leave everything behind me."
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Scott has been working out in full since May 2. He's a reserve who can be brought in behind Otto Porter, who he said he already has talked to, or Markieff Morris at the other forward spot.
He battled against the Wizards' core of Porter, John Wall and Bradley Beal in 2015 in the East semifinals won by the Hawks in six games.
"It starts with John. He plays all-out and is competitive. It goes down the line," Scott said of his recollection of that series when the Hawks were in danger of being upset as the No. 1 seed.
"No one is afraid of the other team. It's a toughness. I play with that same toughness as well, John running down the floor and getting the shooters open. I know for sure my teammates will see that as well if they dont know that (already about me). I want to compete, play hard and win."
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