Sports

Nugget Ty Lawson's Latest DUI Gets Him Traded to Houston — and He's Thrilled


As of today, Ty Lawson is reportedly a former Denver Nugget.

And everyone involved seems thrilled about the rapid turn of events, including Lawson himself.

Lawson has been widely seen as the Nuggets' best player in recent years — but that designation meant more in 2012-2013, when the squad won 57 games, than it has during the past two seasons. The team regressed so hideously that coach Brian Shaw was handed his head in March.

But even if Shaw had survived, Lawson would have almost certainly been seen as a liability given his recent brushes with the law and other assorted jackass-ery.


Back in 2013, Lawson was arrested on suspicion of pushing his pregnant girlfriend, Ashley Pettiford.

The case was ultimately dismissed, but not before the wide circulation of these images.


Then, in January 2015, Lawson was busted again in Denver.

The charges: speeding, careless driving and what was described as a "second-offense DUI," with the first bust said to have taken place in Missouri.

But this accounting skipped yet another driving-under-the-influence arrest in 2008, when he was a twenty-year-old student at the University of North Carolina.

Whatever the case, Lawson found himself in front of another booking photographer:


Adding to the embarrassment — the discovery that he'd devoted a 2014 episode of his YouTube series Life of Ty to the Lyft ridesharing service. We've included that clip below.

In a column, the Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman declared that Lawson's arrest offered a valuable lesson. However, it's one he clearly hasn't learned.

As noted by TMZ, Lawson was busted last week for DUI in Los Angeles.

His bail was reportedly set at $5,000 — so it was a lucky thing he was said to have been carrying $6,000 in cash.

By then, of course, everyone knew Lawson was on his way out of Denver — including him.


As we reported last month, Lawson was livestreaming a broadcast during the NBA draft when the Nuggets selected guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who commentators and fans alike immediately recognized as Ty's replacement.

Lawson's reaction to the pick? "I told you. I'm going to Sacramento, bro," he said.

His assumption made sense, given that Sacramento's coach, George Karl, had helmed the Nuggets and liked Lawson. But in the end, the Houston Rockets pulled the trigger, offering far more than could have been expected following the second DUI — an incident that made Denver even more desperate than before to jettison him.

The compensation, as reported by Yahoo! Sports: Kostas Papanikolaou, Pablo Prigioni, Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson and a provisional 2016 first-round draft pick.


Don't be surprised if some or all of these players aren't on the Nuggets' roster this season. The Denver Post points out that Prigioni's and Papanikolaou's contracts "are not fully guaranteed, Dorsey is going into the final year of his current contract," and Johnson "is in the second year of his contract after being drafted in the second round by the Rockets in 2014."

Still, that first-round pick is meaningful, especially given the expectation that the Nuggets would have happily accepted a bucket of warm spit simply to make Lawson go away.

Lawson is psyched, too. Speaking with Fox 26 in Houston, his agent, Happy Walters (no, we're not making that name up) said, "He's excited. I spoke to him once about it. He's close with James (Harden), tight with Corey (Brewer), knows Trevor (Ariza) and Dwight (Howard) and is real excited.

"I think It's amazing," Walters added. "It's good for him. He's one of the better point guards in the league. Patrick (Beverley) is there and is great as well. It helps the team a lot. Great coach. Great organization. Team is deep."

None of those superlatives can be applied to the 2015 Nuggets, who are expected to struggle mightily despite the addition of Mudiay and new coach Mike Malone. As such, Lawson may have just improved his situation in a big way simply by making an ass of himself over and over and over again.

More proof that life as a Denver sports fan just ain't fair. But at least Lawson is off the streets — for now, anyhow. His lawyer (and favorite of troubled Denver athletes) Harvey Steinberg says he's now enrolled at Cliffside Malibu, a rehab program.

Here's the video of Lawson pimping Lyft.


Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts