PJ Hairston has found his way back into the headlines, and not for a good reason. Over the weekend, he allegedly punched high schooler Kentrell Barkley while playing a game of pickup basketball. Barkley claims that the two punches thrown were one-sided from Hairston. The newly-drafted Charlotte Hornets player has not commented on the situation.
Hairston’s agent, Juan Morrow, provided the following information to ABC11 on Sunday’s altercation:
“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.”
Hairston was recently chosen in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat at No. 26 overall. He was later traded to the Hornets in exchange for Shabazz Napier. Had Hairston not had the issues at North Carolina that led to his suspension (and eventual departure) he likely would have been drafted higher.
The Hornets did comment on Hairston and Barkley’s feud at the Durham YMC:
“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.”