‘Protective' Joerger Clears Air Over Ty Lawson Situation

SACRAMENTO -- After a wild couple of days of media coverage, the Sacramento Kings are moving forward with point guard Ty Lawson. End of discussion...well, almost.

Coach Dave Joerger spoke on the subject following practice on Monday, but he felt the need before Tuesday’s preseason matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers to make a more complete statement on the subject.

“We’re going to the club as a team. TMZ will get some good shots of two or three specific players and not the entire team who are out on a teammate’s birthday celebration together. I digress...do you want to cut me off now.” Joerger said with a smile to the Kings media relations staff.

“It’s one of those things guys, where being late for a shootaround, I had three guys late for the shootaround bus to go to the plane after the Vegas game. That happens all day, everyday in NBA life. You pass the fine slip, leave or you don’t leave, or whatever. So that has nothing to do with anything that went on with Ty. There is also nothing that has to do with our team being out to a team dinner and then going out together for an hour or two or maybe, I don’t know if it was six or not, I can’t say for sure but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.

And then what Ty had to go through in his personal stuff, and I didn’t mean to bristle so much yesterday. You guys that are local and we’re just getting to know each other, I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just trying to protect my guy in a personal matter.

I think all of have had to deal with coming home and your wife found a lump and you don’t know and it’s pins and needles for three/four days ‘til you go to the doctor and get some results... or a sick parent or a sick child. Those are the kinds of things that we’re dealing with in this case. And so that’s where I do really become protective.

Our culture that we want to promote is one that inside the locker guys know, every guy in that locker room, including the management and the staff has their back. And I think it’s easy to talk about culture from the outside - ‘they should do this, they should do that.’ I’ve got to deal with what’s on the inside. And so if there’s issues that go on with players - I would say that I’m going to treat everyone fair, I’m going to be firm, but I will not treat every player the same. That’s just how it is in coaching.

Some guys get away with more on the court. Some guys take tougher shots or bad shots, where some guys don’t get that chance. That’s just the nature of it. And understanding each guy’s individual experiences and what they’ve gone through, there are some different things that go with different people. So if you step outside those boundaries, then that’s where I’m really going to jump in. In this case, I thought it was very ‘about life.’

I apologize if I was short with everybody yesterday. I’m trying.”

Lawson was in uniform on Tuesday night and planned to speak to media after the game. He is slated to open the season as the Kings starting point guard while Darren Collison serves his league mandated eight-game suspension.

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