Jeff Taylor pleads guilty to abuse

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor pleaded guilty Wednesday to a domestic violence charge and admitted he pushed his girlfriend at a hotel in Michigan.

The news came just hours before the Hornets were set to open the regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Taylor pleaded guilty in East Lansing District Court to domestic abuse and malicious destruction of property charges. He faces up to 93 days in jail, but prosecutors say they won't oppose a diversion program that could clear Taylor's record if he complies with probation rules.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped an assault and battery charge involving an employee at a Marriott hotel in East Lansing. Authorities have said that Taylor attacked his girlfriend and the employee Sept. 25.

In court Wednesday, Taylor acknowledged that he pushed his girlfriend and damaged a wall at the hotel.

Taylor is from Norrkoping, Sweden, and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

After his arrest, the Hornets banned Taylor from all team-related activities. The team declined comment about the plea Wednesday afternoon.

Hornets general manager Rich Cho said in September that the team would await the outcome of an NBA-led investigation before making a decision on Taylor's potential return to the team.

Cho said on Sept. 29 that it was "appropriate" for the organization to act "decisively and swiftly" in banning Taylor from all team-related activities.

"We take domestic violence as a very serious matter," Cho said at the time.

It's unclear if Taylor will face any punishment from the NBA.

The Hornets went 43-39 last season and are hoping to make a deeper run in the playoffs. Taylor figured into the team's rotation as a backup.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Taylor has been competing for the past two seasons with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a starting spot at small forward. He played in 26 games with eight starts last season before suffering his injury in late December.

As a rookie in 2012, he played in 77 games with 29 starts. He has averaged 6.6 points and 2.0 rebounds for his career.