CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bitter, angry, mopey.
Dwayne Bacon could be all those things, considering how his Charlotte Hornets season has gone. He's intent on being none of those things. He can't control his circumstance, but he can control his response.
"I have never lost my mind," Bacon said Monday ahead of the game against the Phoenix Suns.
"It's not as if I don't think my season is going to turn around. You just have to stay in the gym. We've got 60 more games. Do I think I'll get another opportunity? Yes. And if I don't, I'll still keep working."
This was early afternoon, 90 minutes after the Hornets' shootaround was over. Bacon was the last player still in the Spectrum Center's practice gym.
"I was the last one out of the gym today. I'm not playing, and that's what I've got to do. Put up extra shots. Because, Lord willing, if I get put in the game I've got to hit that shot that I just took upstairs."
It's been rocky. Bacon came into the preseason with huge expectations based on his finish to last season. He was installed as a starter and that lasted 10 games.
He scored 22 points in the season-opener against the Chicago Bulls and 25 six games later against the Warriors. But in general, he was inefficient offensively and inconsistent defensively. A sore right knee caused him to miss back-to-back games mid-November, and since then he's all but disappeared from the rotation.
Bacon didn't play at all in three of the Hornets' last five games. In the other two, he totaled 34 minutes and shot 1-of-11 from the field.
What must Bacon do to get back in the rotation?