Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor will not participate in any team-related activities during an NBA investigation into his arrest on domestic assault charges, the team announced Friday.
“As an organization, we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this matter, and will assist the NBA and law enforcement in any way we can until this comes to an acceptable resolution,” the Hornets said in a statement Friday. “We have spoken with Jeffery and his representatives and they fully understand our position.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said that the league supports “the Charlotte Hornets’ decision to separate Jeffery Taylor from the team during the investigation.”
East Lansing Police in Michigan said in a press release Thursday the 25-year-old Taylor has been charged with one count of domestic assault, one count of assault and one count of malicious destruction of property. According to the release, police officers responded to an incident at the East Lansing Marriott at University Place around 1 a.m. Thursday.
“Jeffrey and his lawyers have determined that it is in Jeffrey’s best interest to focus on resolving this matter as expeditiously as possible before returning to the team,” NBA Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said. “We accept and support that decision. However, our expectation is that no disciplinary action should or would be taken by the team or the league going forward, prior to objective deliberation and full consideration of the facts in this matter.”
The Hornets open the preseason on Oct. 8 in Philadelphia, the same day Taylor has a pre-trial court date at East Lansing District Court.
Ingham County prosecutor Stuart Dunnings announced the date Friday.
A jury selection for the case is set for Oct. 14, Dunnings said, adding that Taylor also has the option for a bench trial, rather than a jury trial.
Taylor, who is not married, is from Norrkoping, Sweden, and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is unclear why he was in Michigan.
The prosecutor said the police report will not be released while the incident is under investigation.
The Hornets canceled a media luncheon with coach Steve Clifford scheduled for Friday so team officials could focus on dealing with the Taylor issue.
Taylor is the latest professional athlete in Charlotte charged in a domestic abuse case.
Greg Hardy, a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats after the woman said he threw her down on a bed of guns and tossed her into the shower.
Hardy is appealing the ruling and a jury trial is set for Nov. 17.
The Panthers removed Hardy from their active roster last week, ending three weeks of indecision regarding his playing status. He played Week 1 and sat out the next game before being placed on the exempt-commissioner’s permission last week after the NFL came under public fire for its penalties in domestic violence cases.
The Hornets have their media day with player availability on Monday and will open training camp Tuesday in Asheville, North Carolina.
A second-round pick in 2012 out of Vanderbilt, Taylor missed most of last year with a ruptured Achilles tendon but is healthy now.
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Taylor has been competing for the past two seasons with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a starting spot at small forward. He played in 26 games with eight starts last season before suffering his injury in late December.
As a rookie in 2012, he played in 77 games with 29 starts. He has averaged 6.6 points and 2.0 rebounds for his career.
Taylor is the second Hornets player involved in offseason incidents.
Rookie guard P.J. Hairston has a court date set for Nov. 14 for a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery following an altercation with a high school basketball player during a pickup game in July. Hairston was issued a summons but police did not arrest him.
In court documents Kentrell Barkley, a senior at Northern Durham High School, said Hairston “punched him twice in the head” during a heated basketball game at the Durham YMCA.
(Photo Source: AP)