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Hornets’ James Bouknight arrested for DWI in Charlotte

Boston Celtics v Charlotte Hornets

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 07: James Bouknight #2 of the Charlotte Hornets attempts a shot during the second quarter of the game against the Boston Celtics at Greensboro Coliseum Complex on October 07, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Hornets guard James Bouknight has been arrested for driving while impaired just days before the team was set to open the regular season.

Bouknight was arrested at 1:51 a.m. Sunday by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, according to a police report. Bond was set at $2,500.

The 22-year-old Bouknight, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2021, practiced on Monday but did not speak to reporters.

“We are just gathering information right now,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said after practice. “Until we know more definitely on what happened I can’t comment on that.”

The news of Bouknight’s arrest emerged on the same day that Clifford said it was “highly doubtful” LaMelo Ball would be able to play Wednesday in the team’s opener against San Antonio. Ball suffered a Grade 2 sprain during the preseason and his absence to start the season was expected, even of the Hornets are taking it day by day.

Also on Monday, restricted free agent Miles Bridges, who led the Hornets in scoring last year, had a court date in Los Angeles surrounding his arrest on three felony domestic violence charges. Bridges has pleaded not guilty.

Bouknight played in 31 games as a rookie, averaging 9.8 minutes and 4.6 points.

He feuded on the sideline with former coach James Borrego during a game last season, but was hoping for a new start under Clifford, who was hired this offseason for his second stint as the Hornets’ coach.

Clifford said last week that Bouknight has starter-level talent in the NBA.

The Hornets open the season at San Antonio on Wednesday night.

“That’s this league. You know what I mean?” Clifford said when asked about Bouknight’s arrest being a distraction. “I was told a long time ago that if you want to enjoy coaching, understand that a lot more things go wrong every day that go right. It’s just the kind of job that it is. It’s part of coaching at every level.”