Sometimes teammates beef. It's a fact of life in the sports world. However, Hornets center Kai Jones took that to a whole new level earlier this week. Jones took offense to several fans saying that he was about to be dethroned as the starting center for the ailing NBA franchise. In response, Jones took unprompted shots at the rest of the team's center options. First in his crosshairs was Mark Jones, whom the Hornets drafted in 2022. "Show me a video of [Mark Williams] pulling up...going left and hitting it. Anywhere...in college...show one," Jones demanded of the fans. Williams played well down the stretch as he began to get starts in garbage time games at season's end.
However, Jones also went after third-string center Nick Richards, who fans were using to troll Jones as well. "I'm more assertive with the ball. I can read myself," Jones argued. All of this comes as fans and experts eye Jones as one of the weak links in a slowly developing Hornets core. "There's no more time for excuses. He needs to show some signs of improvement, especially with the emergence of Mark Williams...and Nick Richards, a  second-round pick [out of Kentucky], outperforming Jones last season," Nicholas Mullick of All Hornets wrote of Jones.
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Is Jones' Job In Danger?
Despite his self-proclamation that his future is in Charlotte and that his role as starter is safe, Kai Jones is likely feeling a little insecure right now. ESPN no longer lists him as the Hornets' starting center, listing Williams there instead. Additionally, Jones is nowhere close to being the team's starting power forward, another position is also been slotted into in the past. Unfortunately, Jones just hasn't done enough to lock down that starting center spot. Maybe he will open camp as the starting 5 but it's likely to be a positional competition for the role.
Furthermore, while the team's pickings are slim, people are already hyping LaMelo Ball and Williams as one of the young duos in the league to watch this season. Factor in second-overall pick Brandon Miller and Charlotte is very clearly building a young core that doesn't include Jones. While the start of the NBA season is still around six weeks away, they are likely going to be a very important six weeks for the team. Be sure to follow all the latest sports news here at HotNewHipHop.
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