The Sacramento Kings want an explanation from point guard Ty Lawson, who was late to a shootaround and then missed their flight on Friday to Lexington, Kentucky, for a preseason game, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Lawson was listed as out for "personal reasons" when the Kings faced the Washington Wizards on Saturday, per the Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones.
Story posting now: League sources say Ty Lawson must explain himself to Kings officials after missing the team's Friday flight to Kentucky.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 16, 2016
ESPN sources say Lawson, who has been playing well in camp, was late for a shootaround, then missed the Kings' trip to the game in Lexington— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) October 16, 2016
This is obviously not a great start to Lawson's tenure in Sacramento, and it's familiar. Back in 2015, he missed the Denver Nuggets' first practice after All-Star weekend because he missed his flight back from Las Vegas. Lawson's career has gone downhill since then, with his reputation taking a hit after multiple DUIs, a stint in an alcohol rehab program and the worst season of his career split between the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers. He signed a one-year contract for the minimum in late August, looking to get back on track with the Kings.
Lawson actually has a great chance to get his career back on track in Sacramento. Coach Dave Joerger has sung his praises repeatedly during training camp and preseason, and there's a real opportunity for him to keep the starting point guard spot all season. His contract is not guaranteed, however, meaning that the Kings could release him if they decide he's not worth their trouble. It is unfortunate that this possibility even has to be mentioned when talking about a player who was as successful as Lawson was in Denver, but the reality is that the Rockets chose to waive him last year. He needs to prove to Sacramento that the team can count on him.