That's why the past month has been discouraging for the sophomore point guard.
|Support was plentiful for Ty Lawson in Chapel Hill until he declared for the draft. (US Presswire)|
Fans can turn on you quickly.
It's a shame Ty Lawson had to learn this via Facebook.
But that's exactly what has happened over the past few weeks, or, more specifically, ever since Lawson decided he was going to enter the NBA Draft and possibly forgo his junior and senior seasons. When he announced, everything changed. Best he can tell, all the well-wishers who made Lawson's first two years at North Carolina wonderful disappeared. They were replaced by people telling him he isn't tall enough or consistent enough or good enough for the NBA, and his Facebook account has been flooded with angry messages featuring the name Joe Forte.
Case you didn't know, that's code for North Carolina Bust.
And so this is what it's come to for Lawson and his two underclassmen teammates -- Wayne Ellington and Danny Green -- who are joining him this week at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. All three Tar Heels declared for the draft last month but none have hired an agent. Consequently, they can still return to North Carolina and comprise the consensus preseason No. 1 team, which is what UNC fans from Aberdeen to Zebulon clearly want.
I get that.
Lawson gets that, too.
But what he doesn't get is how so many fans went from cheering him and his teammates to ridiculing them, based on nothing more than them deciding to explore and see if they are ready to be professionals. It's a shock that's created a sore subject.
All along, Lawson thought fans were sincere when they said they wanted what's best for him and his family. But now he's starting to realize that most fans -- and yes, he did say "most" fans -- only want what's best for him if it's also best for them, and what's best for them is for him to run the point in the ACC next season.
That's why his potential jump to the NBA hasn't been well-received back in Carolina.