It was not a good weekend for a former NBA player with a history of playing for the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers and, most recently, Sacramento Kings.
On February 5th, Ty Lawson was involved in an altercation at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, in Madrid. He was at the airport in Spain on a stopover, on his way to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, when he had what the Spanish news agency EFE via Eurohoops.net described as a “violent attitude.”
According to eyewitnesses, Lawson apparently refused to put on a mask while approaching the boarding gate. Things escalated and he wound up attacking two Iberia Airline employees. With that, Iberia staff wouldn’t allow the 34-year-old Lawson to board his flight. However the Civil Guard (the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain and one of the country’s two national police forces) specified that he had not been arrested and no one filed any complaints against him.
The police accompanied him to another counter to buy a ticket to the Dominican Republic for another time, and left Lawson.
Ticket purchased, Lawson departed the airport and went to a local La Tagliatella, part of a chain of Italian restaurants.
EFE reports, citing police sources, that Lawson injured a customer in an Italian restaurant by throwing a glass at him Saturday. The victim, that required stitches, informed the police that the perpetrator was a “well-known basketball player” and police issued a “search and arrest” order.
Later that day, Lawson was arrested when he was involved in an altercation in central Ibiza street.
He’s been in custody ever since.
Lawson, who currently plays for Tunisia’s US Monastir professional basketball club, has a long history of scandals in his sports career, many stemming from issues with substance abuse. In 2017, his career in the NBA ended after several arrests and convictions for drunk driving and causing problems similar to the ones he had in Madrid this weekend. The Sacramento Kings terminated their contract with him in 2017 after many disciplinary situations that included missing flights with the rest of the squad after not arriving at the airport on time. He then shifted to the Chinese league, first with the Shandong Golden Stars, then the Fujian Sturgeons. However in 2020 he got a lifetime ban from the Chinese league for posting “inappropriate” sexist messages on social media.
Lawson, who helped lead North Carolina to an NCAA title in 2009, played eight NBA seasons, six of them with the Denver Nuggets, and averaged 12.7 points a game.
Hopefully he will eventually be able to get the help he appears to need.
Feature Photo: Magnus Manske / Wikimedia
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