Southeast Notes: Bouknight, Magic, Banchero, Wizards

Hornets guard James Bouknight, who was arrested over the weekend for driving while impaired, was found unconscious in his car in a parking deck, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, via a WSOC TV report.

Police records state that Bouknight’s car was running and in drive when he was found, and the 22-year-old was holding a handgun. Officers attempted to wake him up using airhorns, a PA system, and lights, and when he eventually did come to, Bouknight allegedly seemed confused and refused to comply with officers, crashing into two patrol cars before eventually getting out of the car and being taken into custody.

Bouknight issued an apology to the Hornets and his teammates when he returned to practice earlier this week, per Kallie Cox and Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

“Honestly, I just wanted to apologize for being a distraction before the start of the season, for my teammates and for what we’ve got going on,” said Bouknight, who went scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting in 14 minutes during the team’s regular season opener in San Antonio on Wednesday.

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • It may not be realistic to expect the Magic to make the playoffs this year, but the team at least needs to show real signs of progress to consider the 2022/23 season a success, argues Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel. “It’s been asked many times this offseason — ‘What’s next?'” president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said. “I think this season is going to be a continuum from last season, but with that we want to start putting in what winning looks like — fewer mistakes, team orientation, being tied on a string defensively, elevating our standard as our team grows up so our players understand what winning is about.”
  • The Magic didn’t pick up a win in their season opener on Wednesday, but they had to be encouraged by the debut of No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero, who racked up 27 points, nine rebounds, and five assists in Detroit. As Jamal Collier of ESPN writes, even though he said he felt like he “left a lot of points on the board,” Banchero is the first NBA rookie to post a 25-5-5 line in his debut since LeBron James in 2003.
  • Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington takes a look at what we learned about the Wizards‘ rotation based on their first game of the season. Notably, Delon Wright and Will Barton were part of the club’s closing lineup, Rui Hachimura was the first player off the bench, and rookie guard Johnny Davis was a DNP-CD.
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