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Nuggets give Augmon chance to coach

Stacey Augmon was too busy making a living as an NBA player to think about one day becoming a coach.

But the idea of being on the sidelines in a nice suit appeals to the former UNLV star now that his 15-year professional playing career is behind him.

The Denver Nuggets are giving Augmon a chance to see how the role fits him. He became Denver’s player development coach in November and has been on the bench all week at the NBA Summer League helping the Nuggets’ young players acclimate to the NBA.

“I never thought I’d want to coach while I was playing,” said Augmon, a first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 1991 (No. 9 overall). “I saw what players put coaches through, and I didn’t think I wanted to go through that.”

But Augmon wanted to stay in the game, and the Nuggets are giving him that chance.

“I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “I especially like the strategy part of it, the X’s and the O’s. I find it fascinating.”

Augmon said he’d love to be an NBA head coach but wouldn’t mind college coaching, particularly at UNLV. He was long estranged from the Rebels’ program.

“Maybe one day,” he said with a smile. “I’ve been at peace with what happened here for a while. I just haven’t gone public with it. But the program is doing well, and any way I can help them, I will.”

ONE AND DONE — Nate Robinson’s annual visit to the summer league lasted only one game. The New York Knicks’ fourth-year guard played 26 minutes Wednesday against San Antonio and had eight points.

Last year’s summer league Most Valuable Player did not dress for Friday’s 85-80 victory over Phoenix and won’t play in the Knicks’ remaining games today against Charlotte and Sunday against Minnesota.

Robinson is a four-year participant in Las Vegas, and the summer league plans to retire his No. 4 on Sunday. He will be the first player in the five-year history of the league to be given that honor.

AUGUSTIN SITS — Charlotte Bobcats first-round pick D.J. Augustin was held out of Friday’s game against Detroit because of tendinitis in both knees. The former Texas guard, the ninth overall draft pick, has been the Bobcats’ top scorer this week, averaging 19.7 points in three games.

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