Living in the information age is both a blessing and a curse. With one click, someone can find out almost everything about you and draw a conclusion without even knowing you. For athletes like Ty Lawson with troubled pasts, the judgments are harsh.
The Sacramento Kings inked the 28-year-old point guard to a one-year, $1.3 million deal earlier this summer after he struggled mightily with the Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers last season. Interest in Lawson was low because of his history of off-court issues, and the former Carolina Tar Heel told James Ham of CSN California that he doesn’t believe his “bad guy” rap is justified:
It’s been pretty hurtful, I guess. Everybody thinks, ‘Ty’s a locker room wrecker,’ I don’t even say stuff in the locker room. I’m quiet, I’m chill. I feel like no one knows who I am. (They’re) just going off what other people say. It’s kind of tough dealing with that.
Since 2012, Lawson has four arrests to his name. In 2008, before his myriad of legal problems, he pleaded guilty to underage drinking and driving while at UNC and was forced to complete 20 hours of community service.
His first arrest came four years later after Lawson received three citations and was arrested for avoiding prosecution; two of the infractions–careless driving and driving with a restricted license–were dropped, and Lawson pleaded guilty to allowing an unauthorized person to drive his car.
It continued one year later in August of 2013 when Arapahoe County Police arrested Lawson and his girlfriend following a domestic violence call. All charges were dropped.
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In 2015, the drinking and driving issues resurfaced. Lawson had two more arrests added and both were DUI related. January was when the first one happened, and police in Denver arrested the young point guard after he was clocked going nearly double the speed limit while under the influence.
Not even seven months later, he got arrested again. This time, however, it was on suspicion of DUI, but Lawson would need to spend a month in rehab before facing charges.
It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for the former Tar Heel, but it was evident he had an issue. After all, he managed to rack up four DUI arrests in just four years. Drinking and driving is a terrible thing, but there are other crimes that Lawson could’ve committed that would’ve ruined his life totally.
Lawson had a four-year stretch from 2011 to 2015 when he was in legitimate All-Star contention and, although Denver wasn’t that great, he was making a case to be a top-tier guard.
All those violations are behind him, and Lawson needs to focus on getting his career back on track. Is Sacramento the best place to do it? Probably not, but if their cultures changes, hopefully, we’ll see the old Lawson that was in Denver.
Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference