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Kings meet with Ty Lawson after missed flight, clear him to rejoin team

After a morning meeting with management following a missed team flight last week, Sacramento Kings guard Ty Lawson was cleared to rejoin the team and practice Monday.

General manager Vlade Divac told reporters in Sacramento that the team is satisfied with Lawson's explanation that a "personal issue" caused him to miss the flight Friday from Las Vegas to Kentucky for the Kings' Saturday night preseason game against the Washington Wizards at Rupp Arena.

ESPN.com reported Sunday that Lawson was late for a team shootaround before Thursday's preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Vegas, and then missed the flight to Kentucky.

"We handle it inside [the] house," Divac told local reporters in reference to Monday's meeting with Lawson.

"He got the message, and we move forward."

Kings coach Dave Joerger insisted after practice that there is "no situation" with Lawson, who signed with Sacramento one month before the start of training camp after a string of legal woes.

"Ty had a personal issue, and that stuff is non-basketball-related," Joerger told reporters Monday.

"It's in my hands. The decisions that were made of the plane and all this stuff, that's on me. It's a personal issue. It's, I think, been very inaccurately reported."

Sacramento was forced to start the season without the suspended Darren Collisonand signed Lawson on Aug. 31 to a one-year minimum deal that was non-guaranteed, hopeful that the former Denver Nuggets point guard would seize the opportunity to resurrect his career and fill a void in the Kings' backcourt.

But Collison was ultimately suspended for just the first eight games of the regular season after a misdemeanor conviction for domestic assault. The Kings signed Lawson only after considerable internal deliberation given the veteran guard's history of legal woes, so it remains to be seen how much patience they'll show.

"He's not going to be suspended," Divac told reporters Monday. Asked whether Lawson would be fined, Divac said: "Well, we'll see."

The Kings also recently signed veteran point guard Jordan Farmar, who played in Memphis last season under Joerger, to help them cope with Collison's absence.

For much of training camp, the Kings have been publicly optimistic about Lawson's ability to contribute, with Joerger praising Lawson's defense in a recent exhibition outing against the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry and saying: "He has good leadership qualities. You can tell why he's been a winner."

Lawson, 28, has been arrested four times for driving under the influence, including twice in a seven-month span in 2015. He didn't last a full season with the Houston Rockets in 2015-16 before his March release, and then finished last season with the Indiana Pacers.

Through his first six seasons, Lawson was a key member of the Nuggets, earning a contract extension in 2013 that was $4 million richer than Curry's four-year, $44 million deal that expires after this season.

In a July interview with The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, Lawson said: "It would be big to be back to my old self again. Also, it's not for just me, it's for my parents. They have had a hard time seeing what I've been going through. I know they hear the little comments at NBA games. To make them proud again would mean the world to me."
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