P.J Hairston charged in connection to fight at pick-up game Sunday, will not be arrested

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After sorting through the always-conflicting stories that surround a fight, police in Durham, North Carolina, have decided to charge recent Hornets’ draft pick P.J. Hairston with assault and battery in relation to a fight at a pick-up game Sunday.

However, he will not be arrested in the case, according to the report.

ABC-11 in Durham has the details.

Charlotte Hornets rookie Samuel Peterson Harrison Jr. – aka PJ Hairston – is facing charges after a high school basketball player in Durham claims the NBA player punched him Sunday at a Durham YMCA.

The 17-year-old told ABC11 that Hairston, a former UNC player, punched him twice while they were playing a recreational game. Kentrell Barkley said he did not throw any punches.

As expected, Hairston’s agent Juan Morrow tells a different story.

“Trying to make a name for himself by competing hard against a NBA player and tempers flared … This happens in a pickup game, this is nothing new, but just because of PJ Hairston people making it more than what it seems to be,” Juan Morrow said.

Police pretty much always sort through conflicting information when it comes to fights, in this case they did that and sided with Barkley.

Hairston has two inches and 30 pounds on Barkley. More than that, he should have maturity — Hairston is the pro with something to lose and has to know when to walk away from the situation. Hairston played last season in the D-League and showed real talent but more than that people around the team said he showed a new maturity. That is now out the window, especially since he has been hanging with troubled Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (who was driving Hairston’s Escalade when Gordon was recently arrested for a DWI).

Also of concern to the Hornets, if a high school player can get under Hairston’s skin and get him to throw punches, what happens in the NBA where smack talk and mental mind games are a nightly occurrence.

The Hornets released this statement on Sunday:

“The organization is aware of an incident this afternoon involving P.J. Hairston. We are in the process of gathering additional information and will have no further comment at this time.”

Both the NBA and teams tend to let the legal course play itself out, for there to be a plea or verdict, before taking any action.

Rumor: Paul George told former Pacers teammates he wanted to join the Lakers

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Paul George to the Lakers is a capital-T thing.

George is from Southern California, and he keeps indicating his dissatisfaction with the Pacers. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Even Lakers president Magic Johnson is talking about George.

Where do rumors like this originate?

Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News:

A SoCal native, he’s been talking about playing for his hometown team, the Lakers, for a long time. He’s never made his long-term intentions a secret within the Pacers’ locker room, according to former teammates. He wants to wear the purple and gold.

Did George say he dreamed of playing for the Lakers growing up? Did he say it’d be cool to join his boyhood favorite team if the situation presented itself? Or did he say he wanted to get the heck out of Indiana to join the Lakers as soon as possible?

There are so many ways his comments to teammates could get misconstrued as they get passed down in the game of telephone.

But the Lakers threat – to whatever degree it’s real – looms, and it’ll impact how the Pacers handle their offseason.

Jazz call deactivating Jeff Withey, who was accused of domestic violence, ‘strategic basketball-related decision’

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Jazz Center Jeff Withey was accused of domestic violence in a police report filed by his ex-fiancée.

Withey played a small role in Utah’s first two playoff games, but once the accusation over an alleged 2016 incident became public, he hasn’t seen the court. Withey received a DNP-CD in Game 3 against the Clippers, and the Jazz deactivated the center for Game 4 last night.

Ryan McDonald of the Deseret News:

The team called it a “strategic basketball-related decision.”

Withey was always going to see a reduced role with Rudy Gobert returning from injury.

Though Gobert didn’t play in Game 3, the Jazz had two injured players – Gobert and Alec Burks on the inactive list – so Withey was active but never played. But Withey was active for Game 1, which Gobert started healthy before injuring his knee 11 seconds in.

Therefore, deactivating Withey in Game 4 for Joel Bolomboy, a little-used second-round rookie who has yet to play in the postseason, is a curious choice for basketball reasons. It’s almost as if that wasn’t the reason.

Russell Westbrook on Rockets laughing at Andre Roberson missing free throws: ‘Probably the guys that don’t play’

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The Rockets bench made a big production when an intentionally fouled Andre Roberson kept missing free throws in the Thunder’s Game 4 loss to the Rockets yesterday.

Russell Westbrook stuck up for his teammate.

Royce Young of ESPN:

Westbrook:

I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it at all. Probably the guys that don’t play, probably over there the ones laughing, if I had to guess.

Good guess. It appears Montrezl Harrell and Bobby Brown – whose only playing time this series came late in Houston’s blowout Game 1 win – led the jeers.

But the most important thing for the Thunder is Roberson making his free throws. They need him on the court to defend James Harden, which exposes him to hacking. If Westbrook deflecting attention onto the Rockets’ benchwarmers helps Roberson at the line, great. But if not, the Rockets will keep having reasons to laugh.

Magic Johnson winks at bringing Paul George to Lakers

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Paul George-to-the-Lakers rumors have swirled for a while.

New Lakers president Magic Johnson will only fuel them.

Asked how he’d interact with the Pacers star to avoid tampering if they ran into each other, Johnson said on Jimmy Kimmel Live:

We’re going to say hi, because we know each other. You just can’t say, “Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,” even though I’m going to be wink-winking like [blinks repeatedly]. You know what that means, right?

In explaining how he’d avoid tampering, Johnson probably tampered. Accidental tampering appears to be his specialty.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement says team employees can’t permissibly “induce, persuade, or attempt to entice, induce or persuade, any Player who is under contract to, or whose exclusive negotiating rights are held by, any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiate or contract for such services.” But the league arbitrarily enforces tampering, so who knows whether he’ll be punished?

Johnson almost certainly could have gotten away with the hypothetical conversation he laid out. But going on television and describing it — even as fantasy, even not directly to George — could constitute tampering in itself,

If Johnson helps attract George to Los Angeles, it’d well be worth it. At least he’s trying something.