A day after getting the heave from the NBA's madatory rookie transition program in New York, Darrell Arthur sure sounded like a guy who knew he messed up.
As reported by the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Ronald Tillery:
"I want kids not to make the mistake I made," Arthur said. "I want to try to teach them the right thing to do. If you follow the rules you won't be in the same position I'm in. I feel terrible. I should have never opened the door. If I wouldn't have done that, everything would have been cool. I knew the rules and I made a mistake."
"About the marijuana," Arthur said, "I didn't have any. I didn't have anything to do with marijuana or anything like that. I'd like to clear that up."
"I used bad judgment by bringing the girls in and violating the rules," Arthur said. "It was a bad mistake. I'm not a bad kid or anything. I just put myself in a bad situation. I want to apologize to the GM, the owner and all the fans. You won't hear my name in anything like this from here on out. It'll be straight and narrow from here."
At the very least, Arthur earns an 'A' in public relations.
The denial of the marijuana usage is a bit odd given that initial reports had Chalmers and Arthur being thrown out for precisely that reason. But recent rumor is that there were women involved who were not permitted to be in the room at that time, and perhaps that was Arthur's issue while the marijuana was only relevant to Chalmers. If that's not the case, this certainly takes on a bit of a Jason Giambi-ish feel to it.
That said, Arthur generally said all the right things in his press conference. He didn't make any attempt to defend what was undoubtedly dopey decision-making and has promised to take more appropriate actions in the future. It's up to him now to make his actions stand up for his words. Here's hoping he can do it.