Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston charged with assault and battery

Ed Zurga

Charlotte Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston has been charged by Durham Police with assault and battery after allegedly throwing punches during a pick-up game.

Rookie guard P.J. Hairston was formally charged by Durham Police for his involvement in a YMCA pick-up game altercation, reports ABC 11 in Raleigh-Durham. The Charlotte Hornets rookie was not arrested but has been charged for punching 17-year-old Kentrell Barkley.

Hairston's agent, Juan Morrow, told Yahoo! Sports, ESPN and ABC11 that the former North Carolina Tar Heel and Texas Legends guard punched Barkley but did so in retaliation to Barkley taking a swing at his client. Barkley recalled the incident differently, saying that Hairston first threw a punch unprovoked and then took another swing when Barkley asked why Hairston punched him the first time.

The Hornets offered a brief statement on the situation on Sunday night:

"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."

Hairston was the 26th pick in the 2014 draft. After spending two seasons at North Carolina, the 6'6, 230 pound shooting guard was dismissed from the Tar Heels followed off-court miscues, which included a charge for marijuana possession and a suspension by the NCAA for allegedly accepting improper benefits.

Hairston averaged 21.8 points through 26 games playing for the Texas Legends in the D-League following his dismissal from UNC.

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