CHARLOTTE – Monday marked the start of the Charlotte Hornets' four-day minicamp where players practiced for a couple hours at the Time Warner Cable Arena practice gym. It also marked P.J. Hairston's first time on the hardwood since being issued a misdemeanor criminal summons for assault and battery.
Reporters were suggested to arrive around 5 p.m. Monday to see some of the practice, but weren't let in until almost 6 p.m. When reporters were allowed in, WFMY News 2 found Hairston sitting on the sidelines.
The VP of Communications for the Hornets said it was not planned to have Hairston sitting to the side, he was just done practicing. Within less than five minutes of the media being allowed inside, a Hornets official walked Hairston out of the gym so he wouldn't have to answer reporter questions.
WFMY News 2 was told no one from the Charlotte Hornets would talk about Hairston's incident from Sunday because it's now a legal matter. When asked if Associate Head Coach Patrick Ewing could talk about how he motivates his players to make good decisions on and off the court, WFMY News 2 was also told, no.
The team did release this statement before practice on Monday:
"The organization is aware of the charges filed against P.J. Hairston regarding yesterday's incident. It is a legal matter and we will have no further comment until the legal process has run its course."
In case you're interested in how Hairston's playing, Coach Ewing and fellow draftee Noah Vonleh did talk about that.
"P.J. has a lot of ability, I expect a great deal out of him doing the summer league. We don't have a lot of scoring so we're going to have to go to him and he's going to have to deliver. I mean, he played in the D-league so he should be used to the NBA style of offense, NBA style of play," Ewing said.
"He's pretty good. P.J., he's a good scorer. He'll look to get other guys open. So, I think I'm going to enjoy playing with him," Vonleh said.
Durham Police said P.J. Hairston was involved in a fight with Kentrell Barkley at the Durham YMCA on Sunday. This comes ten days after Hairston officially became a part of the NBA.