I was very hard on the Sacramento Kings and Ty Lawson during the last week. As I tried to make clear many times, though I’ve never met the man, I care about him as a human being.
Dave Joerger is trying desperately to change the culture in Sacramento, and I applaud him for that. I truly like this guy. Let’s, for a moment, take Joerger at his word that the absence was excused, and this is a personal matter akin to “coming home and finding your wife has a lump” as he explained. I totally, completely respect that.
What I don’t respect is seeing video of Lawson clubbing it up in Vegas the night before the flight. Again, giving every single benefit of the doubt, that particular part is a fact. It was literally caught on video.
Joerger explained that much of the team was at the club for a birthday celebration and TMZ deftly caught Lawson (plus Willie Cauley-Stein and Ben McLemore) on tape. Okay. Again, I get that.
But are these responsible decisions for Lawson? Is this a good idea for a man with four DUI’s and a documented problem with alcohol? The man has a disease, and hopefully he can come through on the other side with a completely rebuilt life. I’m truly rooting for him.
I am not an alcoholic, but I have experience with it involving loved ones. It’s a disease. Surroundings matter. Environment matters. You’re condoning (if not encouraging) the man to go into an area that is the very last place he should be.
I am not advocating treating Lawson like a child, he is a grown man. I am also not his mother or father. But I do have to look at the decision tree as a Kings fan and human being and wonder if this was all the best course of action.
We are also being asked to believe that it was a complete coincidence that after that night’s events, the missed trip to Lexington was a coincidence, with reasons having nothing to do with alcohol or any other nefarious activities.
Joerger said that was the case. The man has yet to lie to me or anyone I know. I take him at his word.
But I don’t agree with having Lawson in that environment, surrounded by booze and a man like Adrien Broner, who earlier in the week allegedly threatened suicide on twitter, and was later arrested after allegedly choking a waitress at the very same nightclub that he was seen with Lawson at.
Lawson should be encouraged. He should be supported. He should be given every opportunity to reclaim his life and career. And for all we know, he’s getting that behind the scenes.
The absence was excused. I’m not sure the entirety of the decision making should be.