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Hornets say F/C Kai Jones will not participate in training camp due to ‘personal reasons’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Charlotte Hornets announced Saturday that 2021 first-round draft pick Kai Jones will not participate in training camp due to personal reasons.

“There is not currently a timetable for his return to the team,” the Hornets said in a statement. “Out of respect for the personal nature of the situation, the Hornets will not have any additional public comments regarding the matter at this time.”

The forward/center had a bizarre post on Instagram Live where he danced and rambled incoherently. He has also repeatedly stated that he’s the GOAT (greatest of all time) and plans to be MVP and defensive player of the year, along with writing that he would beat Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James in a 1-on-1 game.

Jones also wrote that he is a better shooter than two of Charlotte’s recent top three draft picks, LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller, saying “I’ve had a higher fg% than those guys since I came out the womb and none of them can guard me so know your ball before you talk.”

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Hornets coach Steve Clifford said last week that Jones has not been participating in the team’s voluntary workouts, but wouldn’t comment further.

After the news, Jones took to X, formerly Twitter, and wrote “my intuition is telling me there will be better days. #GOATLIFE” along with a series of emojis.

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He later wrote: “How could I ever trip ? I be walking on air.”

The Hornets open training camp next week.

Jones, the 19th pick in the 2021 NBA draft out of Texas, averaged 2.7 points during his first two seasons in the NBA.