Ty Lawson is off to a bad start in Sacramento


The season is not even underway yet, and the Kings are already dealing with off the court issues with newly acquired point guard Ty Lawson. 

The issues started when Lawson was late to a shootaround last week in Las Vegas, where the Kings were playing an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Lakers. He saw no playing time in that game. Then, Lawson missed the team’s flight from Las Vegas to Kentucky. 

A video surfaced on TMZ sports on Monday, showing Lawson partying at Drai’s Nightclub the night before the flight. Also featured in the video are young Kings players Ben McLemore and Willie Caulie-Stien, who both made the trip to Kentucky and were in the starting lineup. 

The Kings are dealing with an extremely delicate situation. Ty Lawson is 28 years old and has been arrested four times for driving under the influence, and twice in 2015. The Kings were one of the few teams that were willing to give Lawson a chance, and the front office was well aware of the risk. New head coach Dave Joerger had even commented at the start of training camp that Lawson had a lot to prove. So far he is off to a terrible start. 

So what does it all mean for the Kings?

An immediate lack of depth at the point guard position to start the season. If Lawson is suspended for any reason, he will join starting point guard Darren Collison on the list of unavailable players. Collison is serving an eight-game suspension to start the year, stemming from a misdemeanor conviction for domestic assault in the offseason. If Lawson receives punishment from the team, the two active point guards to begin the year on the roster will be Jordan Farmar and Garrett Temple.

However, it has been reported that Lawson met with the Kings front office, who cleared him to return to practice on Monday. Joerger was also quoted as saying there is “no situation” with Lawson. General Manager Vlade Divac also told reporters that there will be no suspension for Lawson.

If the new regime is looking to set any kind of example for a team with plenty of young players, they should discipline Lawson. No one should be able to get away with being late to practices and missing flights, and especially someone who is already under the microscope to begin with. As a team that has been searching for an identity with very little discipline for the last ten years, these types of situations can’t continue to take place.  

The only silver lining in the entire ordeal is that the early season schedule for the Kings is not exactly point guard heavy. The opposing point guards for the first eight games are Eric Bledsoe, Tony Parker, Ricky Rubio, Dennis Schroder, Goran Dragic, Elfrid Payton, Matthew Dellavedova and Kyle Lowry. The Kings will, hopefully, be at full strength by the time they see the Chris Paul and Damien Lillard in mid-November. 

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