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.
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.