Celtics Lead

Jabari Bird to Take Leave Amid Shocking Allegations

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Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird is taking a temporary leave of absence after being arrested and accused with multiple charges surrounding an alleged domestic assault. Per Marc J. Spears, Bird claims the move is to deal with “legal and medical issues.”

According to boston.com, Bird was arrested last Friday night after assaulting his girlfriend over a four-hour period. The police report includes jarring details: repeated choking of the victim, kicking in the stomach, and at one point, a loss of consciousness. The victim was held captive for over four hours before escaping. Bird then stayed in the hospital for an extended period of time before his arraignment. He has pleaded not guilty in court and said that “the information that has been released does not tell the whole story,” per Spears.

A second-round pick in last year’s draft, Bird played largely in the G-League as a rookie. He averaged 19.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in 20 games on the Maine Red Claws. Bird did receive sparse minutes at the pro level, averaging 8.8 minutes in 13 contests. Bird was projected to be a consistent reserve in Boston this season while growing as a young player. However, this news casts a great shadow over his future in basketball.

The Celtics are taking the allegations extremely seriously and working with the NBA, as noted by boston.com in a statement. They must terminate Bird’s contract immediately should the courts find him guilty of even some charges. A swift dismissal negligibly affects the rotation since he was little more than a reserve. In contrast, the potential move positively impacts team culture and makes an important statement to the players and fans.

What Happens in the Event of Jabari Bird’s Release?

NBC Sports has reported that Boston is already working out shooting guard Marcus Georges-Hunt as a potential replacement. Georges-Hunt has struggled to break into the league since going undrafted in 2016. After originally being part of the Maine Red Claws, he played just five games for the Orlando Magic in 2016-17. Last year, Georges-Hunt sat at the end of the Timberwolves bench, playing in 42 contests but averaging only 5.3 minutes per game. He showed good scoring ability during his college career at Georgia Tech and is just 24 years old. However, Georges-Hunt is a mediocre defender and would be stuck in the back of the Celtics’ rotation.

If signed, Georges-Hunt is merely a depth piece for Boston. But working out him or any other player this quickly means the Celtics show little confidence in Jabari Bird’s defense. Come regular season, fans should be surprised if Bird is still on an NBA roster.

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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About Ethan Fuller

Hailing from Portsmouth, NH, Ethan is a journalism student at Boston University and writes about the Celtics for TLSM. His chief basketball teams are the Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves. Ethan is also a still-growing ultimate frisbee player.

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