Denver Nuggets President Alleges Ty Lawson Was Drunk During Practices

By McCarton Ackerman 07/23/15

The public bashing by Josh Kroenke came after Lawson was arrested for his second DUI this year.

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Just days after Denver Nuggets traded point guard Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets, Nuggets president Josh Kroenke slammed his former star as a chronic alcohol abuser who showed up to practices under the influence.

The 27-year-old Lawson was arrested earlier this month for his second DUI of 2015, with the first coming in January. He was reportedly pulled over for speeding on a freeway in Los Angeles and subsequently failed a field sobriety test. Lawson’s attorney confirmed that his client entered a 30-day rehab facility over the weekend and will be required to submit documentation that he checked in.

But Kroenke said it was too little, too late because Lawson’s alcohol abuse had been occurring for years.

"There were times when he was better than others. But the problems have been there for several years, going back to when we were having a lot of on-court success,” he told Yahoo! Sports. "There were just a lot of times where you were at practice and ... you could smell it."

"I love Ty and will always love Ty, but once I saw him going down this dark path, we knew that we probably were going to end up in a situation where we were dumping him," he continued. "It creates a weird dynamic."

Rockets general manager Daryl Morley admitted the decision to pick up Lawson was risky, but he believes it could pay off as long as his new star is committed to staying sober.

"I think when you're trying to get the best team out of 30, you got to take risks all over the place. We feel Ty is someone we wanted to add to our team. He’s one of the best playmakers in the league," he said on a conference call earlier this week. “Through our conversations with him, we feel confident he's getting the help he needs, and he's taken that step."

Lawson’s next court appearance to address his most recent DUI is scheduled for Aug. 20.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.