Ty Lawson practices with Kings, won't be suspended for missing flight
The Sacramento guard had a personal issue, according to coach Dave Joerger
The Ty Lawson situation is not, in fact, a situation, according to Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger. Lawson missed the team's flight from Las Vegas to Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday, and reportedly was also late to a shootaround, but both Joerger and Kings general manager Vlade Divac downplayed this Monday, per CSN California's James Ham:
"Ty had a personal issue and that stuff is non-basketball related," coach Dave Joerger said.
"There is no situation," Joerger continued. "It's in my hands. The decisions that were made of the plane and all that stuff, that's on me. It's a personal issue, I think has been very inaccurately reported."
"It's a team policy, you can't just create one policy for one guy," Divac said following Monday's practice. "Everybody has to be a pro. Everybody has to behave the way we would like to represent this organization. So that's how we are going to move forward."
While Divac said Lawson wouldn't be suspended by the team, he left the door open for a possible fine by the team. Lawson's explanation to team officials has extended his stay with the team, at least for now.
And from ABC10's Sean Cunningham:
Vlade Divac said Ty Lawson did miss flight to Kentucky. He said after meeting with him he felt good about him on he team going forward— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) October 17, 2016
A few thoughts:
- The takeaway here is that the Kings are supporting Lawson. Elsewhere in the CSN California piece, forward Matt Barnes said that Lawson was "going through stuff right now off the court." It's unclear what exactly is going on with him, but if it doesn't leak to a reporter, then Sacramento is clearly still committed to giving him a chance this season.
- This can change, and it can change quickly. For example, in July 2015, after news that Lawson was arrested for suspicion of DUI and would be going to a 30-day alcohol rehab program, Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said the team would "stand firmly behind him." Two days after that statement, the Nuggets traded Lawson to the Houston Rockets, getting almost nothing in return. Denver president Josh Kroenke then told Marc Spears, then of Yahoo Sports, that the team "knew that we probably were going to end up in a situation where we were dumping him" because Lawson was "going down this dark path." Later, Lawson criticized both Connelly and the Kroenke family on Instagram.
- Lawson is more talented than Darren Collison, Garrett Temple and Jordan Farmar, Sacramento's other options at point guard, but he is on a non-guaranteed, one-year deal for the league minimum. The Kings risked little by signing him, and they were able to get him on that sort of contract because the rest of the league saw him as unreliable. This story can still have a happy ending, but he's going to have to limit the distractions going forward.
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