P.J. Hairston involved in altercation during pickup game at local gym
Charlotte Hornets first-round pick P.J. Hairston was involved in an incident in a pickup game Sunday where he allegedly punched a high school player at a local gym, according to multiple reports.
Northern Durham High rising senior Kentrell Barkley told ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman that he was running up the court when Hairston suddenly hit him.
"We were playing open gym and I was running up the court and he hit me in the forehead with his fist," Barkley told Goodman. "I walked up to him and asked him what happened and then he hit me again in the neck."
Juan Morrow, Hairston's agent, confirmed to Goodman and Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears that an altercation took place. But Morrow said Hairston swung back after Barkley threw the first punch.
"The pickup game got heated, the kid swung at P.J., and P.J. swung back," Morrow said.
Hairston, the former North Carolina standout, has a history of off-the-court troubles. Hairston never played for the Tar Heels last season, after the school decided last month not to seek his reinstatement after NCAA rules violations, including using rental vehicles tied to a felon and party promoter in Durham.
The Hornets acquired Hairston in a draft-night trade with the Miami Heat. In January, Hairston opted to play in the NBA Development League and latched on with the Texas Legends.