Hayes took to social media to voice his frustrations with the voting process after he wasn’t named to the NBA Rising Stars Game, the league’s showcase for rookies and second-year players on the Friday night of All-Star weekend.
Hayes’ teammates Zion Williamson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker were each selected to play in the game – Williamson for the United States team and Alexander-Walker, a native Canadian, for the World team.
Following Friday night’s 139-111 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Hayes posted his apology.
“I want to apologize for my actions today,” Hayes wrote in a post on his Instagram account. “I used extremely poor judgment and inexcusable language in a moment of frustration. In no way does what I said represent who I am!
“I’m extremely blessed and grateful to play in the NBA, represent the New Orleans Pelicans and make my family and friends proud. I would never do anything to jeopardize the opportunity I have to play the game I love and have a positive impact on others.”
Hayes went on to congratulate all the players that made the Rising Stars game and said he promised to “learn and grow from this mistake.”
In Friday night’s game, Hayes had four points and three rebounds while playing just under 15 minutes. For the season, Hayes is averaging 8.4 points and 4.5 rebounds. He’s also third among all rookies averaging 1.1 blocks per game.