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Hornets’ rookie P.J Hairston apologizes to Hornets fans for “distraction”

Jul 9, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

PJ Hairston PJ Hairston

Things not to do between getting drafted and signing your first NBA contract include getting criminal charges pressed against you. In fact that’s right about at the top of the list.

Hornets first round pick P.J. Hairston failed that — he has been charged with assault and battery in Durham, North Carolina, for punching a high school senior at a pick-up game.

This week Hairston was at the Hornets’ facility and meeting new teammates, start working out for Summer League — and to issue a statement of apology. To the fans anyway.

“I want to apologize to the Hornets organization and our fans for creating this distraction. As this is now a legal matter, I cannot comment on the situation any further. I am truly sorry for any embarrassment that I have caused.”

The Hornets continue to officially say they are aware of the situation and are following the legal process.

Kentrell Barkley, the guy who got punched, spoke to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer about what happened.

“We were playing and he said to one of his guys, ‘He can’t go right. He always goes left,’ ” Barkley said. “I said, ‘I just went right.’ That was all I said.

“They inbounded the ball to him and he ran right at me. He made a fist and hit me in the forehead. He went ahead and scored at the other end.

“Then I went up to him and asked him what that was all about. I didn’t cuss him or anything. Then he punched me in the neck. I didn’t hit him or even throw a punch. I was stunned. There had been nothing to provoke it.”

Hairston’s agent Juan Morrow tells a different story, saying Barkley instigated by pushing Hairston and both of them threw punches and connected.

Now the legal system gets to decide whose story wins out. Which is not the way to start your rookie season.

  1. longtallsam - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    Hornets should have picked KJ, instead of PJ, with that pick.

  2. rrhoe - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    P.J. Hairston aka “Can’t Get Right”…….

  3. nyasdad14 - Jul 9, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Lmao! Good nickname…

  4. titansbro - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    PJ Hairston is the guy who stabbed Artest’s friend with a table leg I bet.

    • titansbro - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      yep, definitely hairston

      http://deadspin.com/5243915/ron-artest-once-saw-a-guy-get-stabbed-in-the-heart-update-for-real

  5. 1historian - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    “Which is not the way to start your rookie season.”

    Good point.

  6. ptownbearsfan420 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Sorry but how stupid can you be.. You just got signed to the NBA!!! You really have that much lack of self confidence you let a scrub in a pickup game get in your head, and now probably in your bank account. Makes me realize just why all these pro athletes go broke in 20 years. Just plain idiots….

  7. papichulo55 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    A fistfight during a pickup basketball game? In 2014, without gunplay? Outstanding!

    • ranfan12 - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      well as long as he isn’t throwing bows in la and nyc courts, his survival chances are much higher

  8. chaser44 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    this guy is a chump

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      He made it to the NBA and the huge payday that goes with it. If anybody’s a chump it’s you.

      • bigmeechy74 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        ooh good one. Insult some guy on the internet because he isn’t genetically gifted enough to play in the NBA. Burn!

  9. buddysguys - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    he has the look of a guy that has a short fuse

  10. ferro214 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Josh Gordon 2.0 without the talent

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