Celtic Jabari Bird taking time off amid charges

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird battled Atlanta’s Damion Lee for a loose ball during a game at the TD Garden in April

Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird is expected to be arraigned in the Brighton courthouse Thursday, his first appearance in public since his arrest by Boston police last Friday on a domestic violence charge and his subsequent hospitalization. After that, they said, he "began strangling her with two hands, approximately a dozen times".

On Thursday afternoon, he released a statement (via ESPN.com) in which he apologized to the Celtics and their fans and said, in part, "I'm taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues", though he went on to add, "The information that has been released does not tell the full story".

The Celtics released a statement on the situation this morning.

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.

The Boston Celtics need to move on from Jabari Bird.

Bird also is accused of throwing the victim against the wall of his apartment, kicking her repeatedly in the stomach after she regained consciousness and trapping her inside a bathroom.

Bird was arrested Friday night for a domestic incident in which he allegedly assaulted, choked, and kidnapped his girlfriend.

Bird's attorney, Brian Kelly, did not present his client's side of the story during the hearing.

He apologized to his family, the Celtics, his teammates, fans and the National Basketball Association "for the unnecessary distraction that I have caused".

The Celtics said in their statement that, per the NBA's policy on domestic violence, "matters of this kind" are handled by the league.

"I do not condone violence against women", he said. The woman said Bird's physical assault caused her to suffer mental distress.

Bird was transferred Saturday to an undisclosed hospital for what police have called an "evaluation" that continued until Thursday when it appeared doctors treating him had concluded he was sufficently healthy to appear in court.

The Celtics drafted Bird in the second round, 56th overall, out of California in the 2017 National Basketball Association draft. Signed to a one-year, two-way contract, he spent the majority of his rookie season with Boston's G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

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