Former North Carolina star Ty Lawson will continue his playing career in the Big3 league after several stints overseas.
The Big3 is a 3-on-3 basketball league founded by hip hop musician and actor Ice Cube and entertainment director Jeff Kwatinetz. The league consists of 12 teams whose rosters include both former NBA players and international players.
Lawson’s career has been a whirlwind lately. The 2009 national champion last played in 2019-20 for the Chinese Basketball Association’s Fujian Sturgeons, where he led the team in points (27.3), assists (8.3) and steals (2.6) per game. Lawson seemed set for a long stint in China before he was permanently banned from the CBA for Instagram posts the league deemed insensitive.
After his time in China, Lawson had a bizarre stint in Greece, where he signed with Kolossos Rodou BC of the Greek League, but was unable to leave China due to travel issues. He trained with the team last summer before ‘the two teams didn’t get along well and decided to go their separate ways’. EuroHoops.net reported.
The 18th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, Lawson has career NBA averages of 12.7 points, six assists and 1.2 steals per game. pic.twitter.com/XZMGXIkUAP
—?? Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) May 3, 2022
After his deal in Greece fell through, Lawson attempted to join former Tar Heel teammate Deon Thompson on the Puerto Rico Guaynabo Mets. Lawson has never played in a game for the team.
Lawson left UNC in 2009 as one of the most electric and exciting players in Tar Heel history. A three-year starter at point guard for the Carolins, Lawson was ACC Player of the Year in 2009 and helped lead UNC to the 2009 national championship. Lawson averaged 10.2 points in first year and 12.7 in the second year. As a junior, Lawson averaged 16.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals while shooting 53.2 percent from the field and 47.2 percent from three.
Lawson capped off his Carolina career by recording a record eight interceptions in the 2009 national championship game against Michigan State. He also led the Tar Heels in points (21) and assists (six) as they beat the Spartans 89-72 for Roy Williams’ second title.
After the season, Lawson was named a consensus second-team All-American and won the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard.
He decided to forfeit his final year of eligibility and entered the 2009 NBA draft, where he was selected No. 18 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and immediately traded to the Denver Nuggets.
Beginning in his second year in the league, Lawson averaged double-digit scoring for five consecutive seasons from 2010–15. His best season came in 2013–14, when he reached career highs in scoring ( 17.6), assists (8.8) and steals (1.6).
Despite a solid stint in Denver, Lawson would bounce around the NBA and test the waters overseas from 2016 to 2018 before settling full-time in China.
For his NBA career, Lawson averaged 12.7 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.2 steals in 551 games played (344 starts).