Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird entered a not guilty plea on Thursday to charges of domestic assault, strangulation and kidnapping.
He was arrested Sept. 7 after he allegedly assaulted a woman, identified in court as a girlfriend, in Brighton, Mass. Bail was set at $50,000 cash.
Bird also was ordered to stay away from the woman and witnesses and to abstain from drugs and alcohol.
Prosecutors said in court Thursday that the woman reported that Bird, 24, threw her against a wall during an argument at his home. Over the course of four hours, he assaulted her at least a dozen times, including numerous acts of strangulation, prosecutors said at his arraignment.
The woman told police that Bird would strangle her until she fell “limp” and that once she caught her breath, he would begin his attack again. She also said Bird kicked her in the stomach, dragged her as she tried to escape and closed her in a bathroom.
Eventually, she told police, she was able to leave the residence after Bird had “seizure-like” symptoms and passed out.
The Celtics issued a statement Thursday.
“Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident. The Celtics organization deplores domestic violence of any kind, and we are deeply disturbed by the allegations against Jabari Bird,” the Celtics said. “Pursuant to Domestic Violence Policy in the NBA’s labor agreement, matters of this kind are handled by the League Office, not the team, and so the Celtics will be working with both the league and local authorities to assist in their ongoing investigations. The team will have no further comment at this time.”
Bird is a former McDonald’s All-American and played college basketball at Cal. The Celtics selected him with the 56th pick of the 2017 draft. He spent his rookie season on a two-way contract and in July signed a two-year deal, with the first year fully guaranteed at $1.35 million.
—Field Level Media