Former NBA star Ty Lawson ‘banned for life’ from Chinese Basketball Association

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA and North Carolina Tar Heels star Ty Lawson has been banned from the Chinese Basketball Association over a series of controversial social media posts this week.

Lawson, named first-team All-ACC in 2009 at North Carolina, signed with the Fujian Sturgeons of the CBA. It was his second stint in the CBA with the veteran guard looking to keep his professional basketball career alive. Now, it may be coming to an end.

Ty Lawson banned by CBA for social media posts

On Saturday, the Sturgeons announced in a statement on Friday that Lawson wouldn’t be brought back following inappropriate behavior on social media and for failing to abide by the league’s social responsibilities and standards.

The 32-year-old posted pictures from inside a club and commented using offensive terms towards Chinese women. According to Sportando’s Emiliano Archia, Lawson is banned for life from China’s top basketball league.

It marks an unfortunate end to what had been a promising run in China for Lawson. He signed with the Shandong Golden Stars before the 2017-’18 season, averaging 25.8 points, 6.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game.

He returned to the NBA with the Washington Wizards, signing with the team before the 2018 NBA Playoffs. After the Wizards were eliminated, Lawson returned to China and averaged 26.5 points and nine assists in 22 games with the Golden Stars.

Lawson seemingly found a home in the CBA, revitalizing his basketball career and becoming a star. He signed with the Sturgeons before the 2019-’20 season and played extremely well, averaging 27.3 points, 8.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game.

Ty Lawson’s NBA career and stats

After starring at North Carolina, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Lawson with the No. 18 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He was then flipped to the Denver Nuggets, learning from Chauncey Billups and eventually making a name for himself in the NBA.

Lawson’s best stretch came during the 2013-’14 season in Denver. Across 62 games, he averaged career-highs in points (17.6 ppg) and steals (1.6 spg). During that season, he led the Nuggets in points, assists and steals.

Across six seasons in Denver, Lawson averaged 14.2 points, 6.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game and looked like one of the team’s best players. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in July 2015 for a package that included a 2016 first-round pick and Pablo Prigioni.

Lawson’s tenure in Houston lasted for just one season, with the team giving him a buyout in 2016. Following multiple DUI arrests, Lawson bounced around the NBA for the next two seasons with the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings.

A strong stretch in Denver largely carries Lawson’s career stats, but he was one of the league’s exciting guards at his peak. With his basketball career likely are over, he finishes with 6,977 points, 3,316 assists and 636 steals in the NBA.