Charlotte Hornets rookie PJ Hairston charged with assault, battery

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Kentrell Barkley, PJ Hairston

DURHAM, N.C. — Charlotte Hornets rookie PJ Hairston is facing assault and battery charges after a high school basketball player in Durham claims the former UNC player punched him on Sunday at a Durham YMCA.

The 17-year-old told WTVD that Hairston punched him twice while they were playing a recreational game.

Kentrell Barkley claims he did not throw any punches.

On Monday, Hairston was charged with assault and battery, a Durham court official told WTVD. He will not be arrested, however he was issued a criminal summons.

Hairston released a statement Monday:

“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.”

Hairston’s agent confirmed an incident did take place and punches were thrown.

“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.

Morrow also said the 6′ 4″, 198 pound high school basketball player pushed the 6′ 6″, 230-pound Hairston, and he pushed back.

“Both shoved each other,” Morrow said in a telephone interview. At that point the altercation escalated into punches, the agent said.

“He swung at P.J., and P.J. swung back,” Morrow said, adding that “both connected.”

The police were not called in response to the incident.

The Charlotte Hornets released a 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.”


  • Frank

    Wonder if Fats “WHeels for heels” Thomas bailed him out ?
    You have to have a plan to be this stupid. What an ambassador for the Kerliner way!

    • NCMale

      Yeah….Hairston kind of reminds me of Cory Magetti with his ability for making stupid decisions……Bobby Hurley for the careless way he dives his car……..and JJ Redick for is desire to smoke marijuana..,,,,and Lance Thomas’s ability to get things without paying for them, although I’m not sure the two rental cars Hairston got would cost $25,000K lol

      • Frank

        None of which were AFAM/SHAM majors, kicked off their respective teams or implicated in drug selling operations.
        You can believe what you want about the gun & dope being found “outside” the vehicle

      • UnlcePJ

        Except you are referring to Duke lottery picks, please don’t confuse PJ with that. Him and Lance can be put in the same sentence, because neither had or will have an NBA career. He can work his family’s restaurant though

  • Thomas Noell

    Even though I have never pulled for Carolina, I am old enough to remember when UNC produced athletes who exemplified class and model behavior instead of the thugs that the high-profile collegiate sports behemoth is putting out today. But when you have questionable figures like Barack Obama as fans, you shouldn’t be surprised. Makes me appreciate schools like Duke and Wake Forest all the more.

  • NobodyAtAll

    I didn’t read the story due to lack of interest of any kind..But just the headline, who the hell cares?

    • stinger90

      But yet you felt the need to post anyways.
      I knew it would be a matter of time for him to get in trouble again in Durham. He should’ve been drafted or traded somewhere else because he’s too close to home to stay out of trouble.

  • b.alex

    Just another professional athlete setting a fine example. The Hornets must be proud to have picked such a great example for their organization.

  • FaithC

    Once the high school kid pushed the adult, the adult should have acted as an adult and walked away. If the kid persisted call the cops and act like an adult, not a street thug.
    If the kid was the first to push and no cops were called why is he reporting it now? Looking for 15 min of fame and a handout?

  • Coach

    First thing I thought of when I saw this on ESPN was why would he be in Durham. Obviously he has a history in Durham, so why not stay away from the place that really started his downfall at Carolina. I would think his agent and the Hornets would tell him to stay away from negative influences and places that may cause negative results. Were there no pick up games in Charlotte. Was the Hornets practice facility closed where he couldn’t work out there? I believe, and I hate to admit it, but playing in Charlotte will be his downfall. He is too close to things, people, and places that have caused negative consequences. I can see a sad and quick ending to a once promising future. Whether the other person threw the first punch or not, he should have been smarter than to be there in the first place. He put himself in this situation.

    • anon

      That was my first thought when I read where it took place….take the kid stuff back to Chapel Hill!!!

  • Chucky

    Well two things worth noting here are that 1. the accuser was under 18 so if Mr. Hariston did assault him, it was assault on a minor. 2. Most of the time when a magistrate issues a charge on a criminal summons, it is an indication that the magistrate either has doubt about the way the offense occurred or that they occurred at all.

  • Jersey

    Thug is all this dude is….he belongs on the streets, not the NBA….he a token for disaster and proved that in college and will only do more damage criminally while in the NBA…he does not deserve to be in the NBA. But again, the NBA is a ‘black’ league according to Charles Barkley, so why would be expect less ya know….thugs playing like thugs. Enough Said!

    • Ken

      Yeah its a good thing those white players like J.J. Reddick, who was once busted for smoking weed, don’t get into trouble like black guys (insert huge layer of sarcasm). Your comments are ripe in ignorance.

      • Jersey

        Typical reply – take no accountability for your race and their problems. Always quick to compare some guy to another race. This Hairston thug is a disgrace to UNC and North Carolina. MJ is an idiot for even trying to draft this guy. And you my colored brother are just as much trying to compare white crime to black.

  • j

    I think it is funny how dukegets brought into this situation when Carolina is a bunch of dumbasses that do this to their selfes

  • ms who

    You can take trash out of the ghetto , wash it , dress it and give it some cash….but it will still be trash. It will still act as trash and will still show its lack of a proper upbringing. It will show its immaturity and lack of proper education everytime. What does anyone expect from this fine Greensboro native????

  • TMac

    Yep. not to single out Wake. But, I have a friend who works in the Campus Police Dept at Wake Forest. She says that you couldn’t build a jail large enough to house all the criminal stuff the athletes get into. It’s handled quietly by the administration. “It’s a School matter. Yea right..

  • Thetruth

    Well this just shows that he has learned nothing about his “Mistakes” from his past he is bent on being that thug!! he will mix in well with the rest of the Hood rats in the NBA!!!

  • cantstandnastyasspeople

    As usual, Carolina players are chosen to be the example!! And, anyone can say what they want , but, your opinion won’t change my mind!! Nor will I believe that your “team” doesn’t do the same!! It’s just a matter of timing as to what gets the most attention!!

  • a man

    I was excited to have the Hornets name back in Charlotte, and then the first thing they do is sign this worthless POS. They can move again now for all I care. Its not a UNC, State, Wake, or Duke thing here. Its class. All of these have produced great athletes with morals but this idiot is not and will never be one of them. Yes I am a wake fan so I salute the Tim Duncan, and Chris Pauls from all the NC schools for working hard in their profession but more importantly remembering that children watch you and want to be you one day. For any children reading this…. this idiot will end up in prison. Please find a better example of human life to mirror.

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