Former Tar Heel and NBA Player Ty Lawson Banned from Chinese Basketball – Sports Illustrated

Former NBA and Tar Heel player Ty Lawson have been banned from the Chinese Basketball Association after allegedly posting derogatory and damaging Instagram stories regarding Chinese women.

In a released statement released by the Fujian Sturgeons, Lawson’s social media posts were ‘inconsistent with the social responsibilities and core values policy’ and triggered public anger.

“His inappropriate words are inconsistent with the social responsibilities and values abided by our club and have brought serious adverse social impacts to the club and the league. We will not sign him for the new season”.

This is not the first of Lawson’s troubles this year, Memorial Day, the former Tar Heel made critical statements regarding Roy Williams. He revealed on his Instagram Story his dislike for the head basketball coach about his career following his departure from the Carolina program in 2009.

Lawson’s time in North Carolina was legendary. UNC recently conducted a poll asking fans to vote for their favorite point guard in program history, which resulted in a championship battle between the PGs from the two most recent championship teams, Joel Berry II and Lawson. Lawson was victorious.

Lawson’s campaign in 2009 exceeded his previous years by a long shot. As a junior, the Maryland native averaged 16.6 points, three rebounds, and six assists on 51% shooting, including 47% from behind the arc. Lawson was voted All-ACC First Team, ACC Player of the Year (the first time a point guard won the honor since Phil Ford), Second Team All-American, and the Bob Cousy Award recipient. 2009, Lawson fought through a toe injury in the postseason to help lead the Heels to their fifth championship, before declaring for the NBA draft.

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Lawson with the 18th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, flipping him right away to the Denver Nuggets. The speedy point guard made an immediate impact early in his professional career. On April 9, 2011, Lawson became the first player in NBA history to make his first ten three-point attempts to start a game. He went 10-11 from behind the arc and finished the game with a career-high 37 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Lawson spent eight years in the NBA, averaging 12.7 points, six assists, and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 46%.

It would be remiss to not mention his run-ins with the law, but those have been covered by multiple news outlets and Wikipedia, so there is no need to rehash them here. What hasn’t been mentioned is that since his last arrest in 2015, Lawson has spent the past five years being relatively quiet and focused on rebuilding his basketball reputation. Other than a short stint with the Washington Wizards during the 2018 NBA playoffs, Lawson has played overseas in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Lawson spent two years with the Shandong Golden Stars, where he averaged 25.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. He had recently signed with the Fujian Sturgeons, before the eruption of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

With his continued troubles, it would be hard to imagine Lawson landing anywhere else immediately. Hopefully, he will use this time as a reflection and refocus on what matters most to him. 

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