It's been less than two weeks now since P.J. Hairston was drafted into the NBA. And yet, the former University of North Carolina star—who was selected by the Hornets in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft—has already landed in hot water.
According to reports coming out of Durham, N.C., Hairston has been charged with assault and battery after allegedly punching a 17-year-old high school basketball player during a pickup game at the Durham YMCA on Sunday. Hairston's agent has come out and essentially blamed the 17-year-old boy, identified as Kentrell Barkley, for picking a fight with Hairston. But Barkley spoke with Yahoo! Sports a short time after the incident and said that Barkley was the one who started the fight. He accused Hairston of punching him twice during the pickup game before leaving the YMCA.
"I was surprised," Barkley said. "I asked, 'Why did you punch me?' I didn't hit him one time. I didn't hit him at all."
He also posted this to Twitter, just to try and make things 100 percent clear on his end:
I want to make this clear, I DID NOT HIT PJ OR THROW ANY PUNCHES!— Kentrell Barkley (@mrb_4life_23) July 7, 2014
In all likelihood, Hairston won't get into too much trouble for the alleged assault. We actually wouldn't be surprised at all if, eventually, the charges against him were dropped. But we're guessing this is not the way he wanted to start his NBA career.
Let's hope this isn't a sign of things to come.
[via My Fox 8]