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P.J. Hairston excels in D-League debut

Jan 19, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

P.J. Hairston

P.J. Hairston is a basketball player, and now he’s playing basketball.

As it should be.

Some of his problems (reckless driving, speeding) would have troubled him anywhere and others would have mattered only in certain states under certain conditions (marijuana). But his most-recent issue – and the one that has most substantially effected his career – matters only to the NCAA. The NBA doesn’t care who pays for whose rental cars.

Mostly, the NBA cares about who can play. And if Hairston’s D-League debut is any indication, Hairston can play.

Coming off the bench, Hairston led the Texas Legends with 22 points (on 16 shots, including 4-of-9 3-point shooting) and six steals.

Hairston is ranked No. 32 by Draft Express and No. 34 by ESPN, but if he keeps up this level of production, he’ll be a first-round pick, even in this loaded draft.

Washington Wizards rookie Glen Rice Jr. paved the way, getting drafted No. 35 last year after spending a season in the D-League following an ill-fated run at Georgia Tech. NBA teams increasingly see the D-League as a route to basketball’s highest level.

Rice performed well in the D-League over 48 games, though. This is only one for Hairston so far.

But there’s a long season ahead for Hairston to establish his value, and at least he has a chance to prove himself.

  1. money2long - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    what’s it gonna take before pbt talks a bout what kendall marshall has been doing during his starts

    • ranfan12 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      i’ve been wondering about that also. haven’t seen much good laker news lately here.

  2. tomtravis76 - Jan 20, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    This is going to become the trend by going to the d league. Get paid for a year in an NBA affiliated league.

    This is the one part I still don’t like, now that mavs d league team has taken the risk to sign,train,develop and pay him for his services, shouldn’t he be apart of the Mavs organization? Guys should be able to enter the NBA draft out of hs, play in d league ,developing, until the final four is complete, then the NBA team can move them up if they so choose. Though if you decide to go to college you have to stay through your sophomore season.

    • doubledown44 - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      Well, the Mavs organization was not forced to take him on. They had the choice and went through with it.

      However, it’s actually pretty good for the organization, if you think about it. If he plays well and they like what they see of him, they would have some good info heading into the draft so they can make a choice on whether to take him. Also, he could play well, but Dallas could get a look at some red flags behind the scenes and pass. Overall, I think it’s a win-win situation for Dallas before the draft.

  3. jadaruler - Jan 20, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    Feel the same way tom. There should be a rule like the supplemental draft in the NFL.

  4. urallstupid - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    22 points on 16, SIXTEEN, ONE SIX, TEN PLUS SIX, shots is excelling?

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