Hornets first-round pick P.J. Hairston has barely been in the NBA two weeks, but trouble keeps following him.
But then he strangely swapped cars with Cleveland Browns receive Josh Gordon – after meeting him at a grocery store no less. Of course, Gordon got a DWI in Hairston’s car.
Somehow, the craziness didn’t even end there.
Hairston’s agent, Juan Morrow, identifies himself as a “certified player agent” on his website and social media profiles for his agency, Upside Media Group.
According to the National Basketball Players Association, that’s not true.
In fact, Robert Gadson, director of the NBPA’s Security and Agent Administration Department told Sporting News on Thursday that there is “no record of a Juan Morrow in (the NBPA’s) files, nor is there record of an applicant by that name.”
Sporting News reached out to Morrow for comment, but the phone call was not returned.
For what it’s worth, Morrow’s profile on the Upside Media Group website has replaced the words “Certified NBPA Agent“ with “Marketing Expert.” But Morrow simply removing the claim won’t end this issue.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates:
The NBA shall not approve any Player Contract between a player and a Team unless such player (a) is represented in the negotiations with respect to such Player Contract by an agent or representative duly certified by the Players Association in accordance with the Players Association’s Agent Regulation Program and authorized to represent him, or (b) acts on his own behalf in negotiating such Player Contract.
The NBA shall impose a fine of $50,000 upon any Team that negotiates a Player Contract with an agent or representative not certified by the Players Association in accordance with the Players Association’s Agent Regulation Program if, at the time of such negotiations, such Team either (a) knows that such agent or representative has not been so certified, or (b) fails to make reasonable inquiry of the NBA as to whether such agent or representative has been so certified.
Essentially, the NBA won’t approve Hairston’s rookie contract as long as Morrow represents him in negotiations. And if Morrow negotiates with them, the Hornets are liable for a $50,000 fine.
Hairston can dump Morrow, and rookie contracts are scaled based on pick number for first rounders, and nearly every first rounder gets the maximum 120 percent of the scale amount. Hairston could probably handle negotiations himself. “120 percent please.” Done.
But the Hornets might be pretty ticked if they get fined. It’s their responsibility to check on agent certification – and we don’t even know whether they negotiated with Morrow, so they might have handled that well. Still, they don’t want to subject themselves to this.
Hairston is really turning into a handful.