McCann: P.J. keeps making bad decisions

COMMENTARY
Jul. 08, 2014 @ 08:10 AM

It doesn't matter who threw the first punch.

Charlotte Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston had millions of reasons to understand that prior to his little dust-up with a high school kid at the downtown YMCA on Sunday.

By the way, why was P.J. even in Durham? The Hornets opened minicamp Monday. Hairston should have been nestled somewhere with his feet up in Charlotte.

But as my colleague Harold Gutmann pointed out, as fast as P.J. drives, he could get from the Bull City to the Queen City in no time.

Last summer, it was speeding tickets in cars linked to a convicted felon named Fats.

Now P.J., known for hitting 3s, is in trouble for hitting Northern High School forward Kentrell “K.B.” Barkley, who was bringing it at the Y.

Of course, this is not the way Barkley wanted to make it on ESPN, but ...

Vince Phillips was at the Y when K.B. grabbed some guy's missed shot and absolutely banged it. Phillips said one of the dudes with P.J. thought the follow-up dunk was off the chain, too, and was like, “Ooohhh!”

But P.J. was hating and just smacked his lips, Phillips said.

Phillips, 19, said he's been a UNC fan from Day 1. He used to be a P.J. Fan. But not anymore. Not after P.J. left a knot on his homeboy's forehead.

Michael Jordan over the years has been criticized for being unwilling to take stands on issues in the name of protecting his brand. He broke new ground when he came out against embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist comments.

But what is Jordan supposed to do with P.J.?

Yeah, Jordan, as the owner of the Hornets, could do like North Carolina coach Roy Williams and run the dickens out of P.J.

But there aren't enough sprints in the world for P.J. if something hasn't clicked with him after he threw away his 2013-14 season at UNC and got a taste of the less-glamorous side of pro ball in the NBA Development League.

P.J. parlayed that D-League experience into guaranteed millions as a first-round pick in last month's NBA draft, and here he is trying to mess up that good thing because a high school kid was putting in work on the baskeball court at the same time he was.

It looks like P.J. is hanging out with the same guys and is up to the same stuff that got him in trouble last year. And it's not like he isn't smart enough to know better.

Consider what Phillips said about P.J. getting knocked to the ground by two defenders, yet he only got in the face of the little guy who fouled him, not the big one, Phillips said.

Now, you could call that cowardice, but it's common sense, too. P.J. needs to use more it.

John McCann is on Twitter: @johntmccann. Email him at jmccann@heraldsun.com.