Over the years on the court, Darrell Arthur has had to wear many different hats, depending on what the team needed from him at the time. In this year’s summer league, the veteran Nuggets forward is adding another hat into the mix.
“I’m just trying to see what it’s like,” said a smiling Arthur after the morning session of summer league practice on Monday. “I don’t know if I’m going to be hands-on or anything like that. Just kind of behind the scenes, checking out how it goes, learning about Xs and Os better.”
Arthur will be behind the bench during games in Las Vegas, which start on Friday, in coaches’ attire for the tournament – polo shirts and shorts. This isn’t a signal that he’s retiring anytime soon, quite the contrary in fact. He’s busily getting ready for his ninth season this fall and has many more years of basketball to play. But Arthur is getting a jump on feeling out what he might like to do when his playing days are over, and coaching is on the shortlist.
“I’m just taking the experience and seeing if I like it or not and if I want to run with it,” Arthur said. “So, we’ll see.”
Part of what Arthur is doing this week is learning the system from a coach’s perspective, so that he can help relay what the staff needs to the players. What that means early on is outside of giving individually-tailored pointers here and there to some of the young players, Arthur is also hanging back and soaking in everything coaches do.
“I was just observing and seeing what they were doing,” Arthur said. “A lot of defensive drills, early offense, just to get kind of a base to how we want to play, and what we want to see out of these guys.”
Meanwhile, Arthur is working to get himself ready for the upcoming season. And it has started as early as ever, which brings a smile to his face. There are no surgeries, no injury rehab or anything that would severely cut into a summer of getting better on the court. He also wants to lose about 10 pounds, which would put his playing weight at 235 pounds for the upcoming season, he said.
“This has been my most active summer in a while,” Arthur said. “Starting out in May and trying to keep progressing. Just trying to be healthy and preparing myself to be healthy before the season starts. It’s great. In past summers I’ve had scopes and surgeries, and it’s always been rehabbing something in the summertime. So, for me to be healthy and be able to play is going to be a one up for me this summer and heading into training camp.”
QUICK HITS. The Nuggets summer league team practiced two times on Monday. The morning session was drill work, while the night session featured more scrimmaging. Forward Juancho Hernangomez is expected to play anywhere from two to three games in summer league. Then he’ll get set to join the Spanish National Team on July 27, he said. … Nuggets rookie Tyler Lydon said his first practice with the team “was good. I had a lot of fun out there, getting out there competing, playing defense and all of that stuff. It was fun to learn a lot of different things.” … Former NBA player Jason Richardson has been invited to help out the summer league coaching staff during this week’s practices. He won’t be with the team in Las Vegas, however.