After spending the better part of three seasons in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), former NBA star Ty Lawson has found a new basketball home for the 2020-21 campaign. Per announcements from the team on its official site and Instagram account on Saturday, the Greek club Kolossos Rodou BC has come to terms with Lawson on a deal that will bring his talents to Europe for the remainder of the season.
Kolossos had been in need of a boost on the hardwood, logging a 3-7 record through 10 games to date in the Greek Basket League (GBL).
In Lawson, the Rhodes-based franchise will be adding a multi-year NBA veteran who showed he can still score and make plays at a high level last year. As tracked by RealGM, the diminutive 33-year-old averaged 27.3 points, nearly nine assists, six rebounds and three steals per contest in 33 games for the CBA’s Fujian Sturgeons in 2019-20. He also shot over 50 percent from the floor, 42 percent from the three-point range and 80-plus percent from the free-throw line.
He may have continued his career with the Sturgeons in ’20-21, if not for his social media activity. As relayed by Sports Illustrated in September, Lawson was dropped by Fujian and banned by the CBA after posting a picture of himself and a woman on Instagram. The uploaded photo was captioned with language that some considered racist and/or sexist, although the point guard has maintained that no disrespect was intended.
“I’m probably the least racist guy you’ve ever met in your life, like I have fun with anybody,” he said.
He added, “I meant no disrespect, and all the racism and disrespect coming towards me is wild.”
“Anybody who knows me in China knows I’m not that person, at all. I was literally saying that she had a nice body, and I danced at a club.”
At one time, Lawson, who was a first-round draft pick of the Denver Nuggets in 2009 after a superstar collegiate run at North Carolina, was one of the better floor generals in the NBA. During a six-year run in Denver through the 2014-15 season, he averaged 14.2 points and just under seven assists per contest.
He was later traded to the Houston Rockets and also had brief stints with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Washington Wizards. However, he largely failed to match the output of his early career. And while he had reportedly hoped to remain in the association, Lawson ultimately elected to take his game overseas.