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Celtics’ Jabari Bird, accused of domestic violence, apologizes for distraction

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Celtics guard Jabari Bird accused of assaulting girlfriend over four hours, including strangling her until she passed out. Police say Bird also threatened to commit suicide during the incident.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

The problem isn’t the distraction. The victims aren’t the Celtics, the fans and the NBA.

The problem is the alleged domestic violence. The alleged victim is his girlfriend.

Bird should be afforded due process. He might also need support with his mental health.

But let’s not lose sight of the real issues here.

Celtics’ Jabari Bird accused of assaulting girlfriend over four hours, including strangling her until she passed out

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Celtics guard Jabari Bird was arrested after a domestic-violence incident Friday.

Now, more details are emerging.

Tom Westerholm of MassLive:

https://twitter.com/Tom_NBA/status/1040282132185272320

NBC Sports Boston:

Needless to say, this is all very troubling.

Bird was in court Thursday and was released on bond posted by his agent.

 

Celtics guard Jabari Bird arrested after ‘domestic incident’ Friday night

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Jabari Bird has been working out, preparing for his second season with the Boston Celtics, trying to find his way into a crowded rotation.

Now he faces a far more serious problem after his arrest for a “domestic incident” where he could face charges that include strangulation and kidnapping, according to a statement from Boston police, via NBC 10 News in Boston.

“Complaints will be sought against the suspect for Assault & Battery 209A, Strangulation and Kidnapping,” according to a police statement given to NBC 10 Boston. Here is the full statement.

Bird is currently in custody what still at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, according to reports. The victim also is reportedly hospitalized.

The Celtics released this statement:

“We are aware of the incident involving Jabari Bird and are taking it very seriously. We are actively gathering information and will reserve further comment at this time.”

There are not many other details yet on the incident. For example, whether or not Bird was armed during the incident can dramatically increase the severity of the charges.

The NBA has a domestic violence program that was put in place as part of the last Collective Bargaining Agreement. It lays out the disciplinary procedures for domestic violence situation — Willie Reed was suspended six games last season, Jeff Withey was released (although “basketball reasons” were cited for that). Beyond that, it sets up a program of counseling, intervention, outreach, and resources to help deal with these issues beyond just punishments.

Bird was drafted 57th overall by the Celtics and played in 13 games for the team last season as a 6’6″ wing. He had a strong summer league for the Celtics, averaging 16.8 points per game on 57 percent shooting. It was going to be tough for him to find minutes this season on a deep team at that position, but he has a fully guaranteed contract for $1.35 million but is not fully guaranteed next year.

Celtics’ quiet summer good enough

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NBCSports.com’s Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.

The Celtics are in great shape.

They were always going to be in great shape.

Boston just reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals with Gordon Hayward missing practically the entire season and Kyrie Irving missing the entire postseason. Those stars return to a team that still has Jayson Tatum and Al Horford and Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier and… This roster is stacked. Though the Rockets and Raptors can stake legitimate claims, I’d rate the Celtics second in the NBA behind the Warriors.

If that weren’t enough, Boston also has 2-3 extra first-rounders coming – from the Kings or 76ers, Grizzlies and maybe Clippers. It’s an embarrassment of riches.

So, unlike last season, when they turned over 11 of 15 players from a conference finalist, the Celtics remained pretty quiet this year. And that’s totally fine. Boston didn’t to win the offseason. Winning the last several was enough.

The Celtics re-signed Marcus Smart (four years, $52 million) and Aron Baynes (two years, $10,646,880).

Will Smart hold positive trade value? His style of play is so unconventional, teams might not believe they can fit him in.

Did Boston really have to give Baynes a player option or even a second guaranteed season? He’ll turn 32 this year.

But those questions are minor compared to the biggest takeaway: Smart and Baynes will help the Celtics over their contracts. Boston coach Brad Stevens knows how to use those two, and keeping them was important.

It might take the Celtics into the luxury tax, which ownership has shown a willingness to pay – and good for them. Their spending should bring advantages. That said, I also wouldn’t be surprised if Boston sheds a small amount of salary this season to avoid the tax and delay the repeater clock.

The Celtics drafted Robert Williams, who slipped to No. 27 because he’s immature then saw first-hand just how immature he is. Most rookies have their acts together more than that, but Williams’ career won’t necessarily be irrevocably derailed by immaturity at age 20.

Other moves were even smaller – trading Abdel Nader to the Thunder and signing Jabari Bird and Brad Wanamaker to minimum deals.

Really, the most significant move of Boston’s offseason was arguably LeBron James leaving the Eastern Conference he had dominated for the last eight years. No team was more impeded by LeBron during that run than the Celtics.

But even if LeBron re-signed with the Cavaliers, I still probably would have picked Boston to win the East this year. Without two stars, the young Celtics nearly beat an old Cleveland team last year. The road just gets a little easier with LeBron gone.

I’m extremely bullish on Boston. It just has little to do with this summer.

Offseason grade: C+

Tatum, Celtics 3-0, Summer League set for tournament stage

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Jayson Tatum might not need long to win his first championship with the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics improved to 3-0 in the NBA Summer League on Tuesday with an 88-83 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Tatum, the No. 3 pick in the draft, had 15 points and six rebounds.

Boston, winner of a record 17 NBA championships, is one of six undefeated teams after the preliminary stage on the campus of UNLV. Seedings and matchups for the tournament portion were to be released later Tuesday.

The Memphis Grizzlies also are 3-0 after overcoming 37 points from Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell in an 84-81 overtime victory. Mitchell, the No. 13 pick from Louisville, added eight steals.

A look at the six games played Tuesday, including one that went to sudden death:

CELTICS 88, 76ERS 83

Jabari Bird also had 15 points for the Celtics, going 7 of 10 from the field. Demetrius Jackson scored all of his 14 in the fourth quarter, while Ante Zizic had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Jaylen Brown played just 13 minutes, scoring seven points before leaving with a bruised thigh.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had 16 points for the 76ers (1-2).