Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Jabari Bird Releases Statement, Leaving Celtics 'Indefinitely'

Jabari Bird Releases Statement, Leaving Celtics 'Indefinitely'

The Celtics' Jabari Bird pleaded not guilty to four felony charges on Thursday and maintained his innocence as he was arraigned on allegations that he repeatedly assaulted his girlfriend last week.

Prosecutors allege that Bird strangled his girlfriend, a college student, to the point that she lost consciousness for a period of time. A month after the former second-round pick signed his first full-time National Basketball Association contract with the Celtics, the 24-year-old was arrested Saturday in Boston's Brighton neighbourhood on charges of domestic assault, strangulation and kidnapping.

Both Bird and the victim were taken to the hospital following the incident, and the 24-year-old guard was on suicide watch while at the hospital, according to the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy. Bird's arraingment originally was scheduled for Monday, but was postponed because he was still in the hospital.

"Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident", the statement read.

The Celtics will be working with the league and local authorities in assisting the ongoing investigation. The team will have no further comment at this time.

Bird, who pleaded not guilty, was released on $50,000 bail, and he is set to appear in court again October 25, nine days after Boston tips off its regular season. She reportedly tried hiding under a bed and in a locked bathroom, and when she tried to escape the apartment, he allegedly dragged her back by the ankles. His next court date is set for October 25.

Bird, drafted in the second round in 2017, appeared in 13 games for the C's last season, and averaged 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8:49 per game.

"I'm taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues", Bird said in the statement. A Summer League standout this past July, Bird recently signed a two-year contract, which featured a fully guaranteed contract for the 2018-19 season, with the Celtics to round out their National Basketball Association roster.

"The allegations are disturbing and we are conducting a full investigation of the matter", a league spokesman said in a statement.

The NBA requires violators of its domestic abuse policy to undergo counseling.

More dark details have emerged about Celtics guard Jabari Bird's domestic violence charge.

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