After the NBA began its lockout, the rumors swirled wildly as everyone began expecting players to jump all over European offers. Now that Euroleague and the foreign leagues have started, there are not many players heading over there.
Denver Nuggets' Ty Lawson was one of them. He hopped a plane to play for BC Zalgiris in Lithuania. And so far, things do not seem to be going too well for the third-year Nuggets point guard.
"I coulda sat home and played NBA 2k12 and got the same thing accomplished that we did in practice," Lawson tweeted. "A lot of wack things happening."
Lawson correctly predicted that he would receive some backlash from fans for tweeting this out and re-assured his followers he was not looking to pack his bags any time soon (at least, not until the lockout ends).
European basketball culture is a lot different than American basketball culture. Stadiums are not world class like they are here. Neither are the practice facilities. Coaches focus more on practice and practice habits than they would in the NBA. And, referees will let a lot more fouls go and let physical play rain supreme. It is a much different game than the NBA -- as Deron Williams will attest as he gets used to his new surroundings in Turkey.
Lawson's team struggled to begin the season with a new coach. Through three games, Lawson is not getting a ton of playing time and is averaging 9.0 points per game, 2.3 assists per game in 19.7 minutes per game. Still pretty good as that gets him to about 18 points and four assists over the course of a 40-minute game. His per-36 minute stats last year 16.0 points per game and 6.5 assists per game. He is not playing as much as he was when Denver decided to ship out Chauncey Billups, but it seems he is producing at the same level.
European basketball is different. It is really difficult to equate NBA basketball to Euroleague basketball.
Lawson is going to fight through and keep working to get more playing time. He is not going to "run away from the situation" as he said... except for, you know, the whole locked out NBA player situation.
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