CHAPEL HILL — If not for his June arrest for driving after consuming alcohol underage, North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson might be playing in the NBA.
Which is why, Lawson said Wednesday, coach Roy Williams told him there won’t be much more disciplinary action after the season starts.
“He said I probably was already punished enough by Larry Bird and them calling, Indiana … and not being able to go the the League and it affecting me,’’ Lawson said. “So I don’t think too many things [will happen]. Probably one sprint or a couple of sprints, but not too much, he said.”
Under a Tuesday plea agreement, Lawson was granted a Prayer for Judgment Continued on the charge of driving after consuming alcohol under the age of 21.
That means the conviction will stay off his record as long as he stays out of trouble. Prosecutors dismissed a driving while license revoked charge and a noise ordinance violation. Under the agreement, Lawson had already completed 26 hours of community service, an alcohol assessment and a four-page report on the impact of drinking and driving.
Asked again through a team spokesman Wednesday night if Lawson would be disciplined, Williams said: "It's an internal matter. I will deal with it."
The arrest, though, came while the speedy guard was “testing the waters” of the NBA — working out for teams while trying to decide whether to return for his junior season.
Asked if his arrest played into his decision to return to school, Lawson said: “Yeah, I think so. Because Coach talked to Larry Bird and they were real high on me. … But they called and said they had a lot of problems with things like that … there were a couple people they named. But they called and said they just can’t take a chance. It probably affected it [my decision] a little bit.”
He said he wanted to go at least top 15; the Pacers had the 11th pick.
How frustrating was it?
“You live and you learn," he said. "You go through things. Maybe it happened for a reason. You can’t go back and think about it now. You can’t change things. So I’m just looking forward."