Boston’s second year winger Jabari Bird was arrested on Friday night, facing charges of domestic assault due to an incident that took place in Brighton, Massachusetts. According to Kyle Boone from CBS Sports, the charges that Bird is facing include assault and battery, strangulation and kidnapping.
Bird is under police guard at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, with Boston Police Department taking control of this. His alleged victim was taken to a separate hospital for the treatment of their injuries. According to Boston.com, Bird is expected to appear in Brighton District Court on Monday assuming that he has been released from the hospital.
The Celtics released a statement on Saturday Morning, stating that: “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 hasn’t been much else that has been reported about this since it broke very early on Saturday morning. There have been no other reports, as of midnight on Saturday, regarding the condition of Bird or the alleged victim. It has been eerily quiet, and that isn’t a good thing.
Jabari Bird signed a two year, $3 million deal in July, with the first season of that being guaranteed money after starring in both the G-League last year and the Summer Series in the past month. He filled the last of the roster spots for Boston with that deal, but that deal and his career are now in serious jeopardy.
It is always assumed that everyone is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law and justice. This should be the same here, and no action in terms of employment should be taken until it is known for sure. However, if these charges are true and Bird is found guilty, Boston should terminate his brand new contract the minute after the guilty verdict.
The general rule that has been established within sports is that players are put on suspension until things like this are resolved. We’ve seen that with Reuben Foster in the NFL, while Sacramento stood by Darren Collison until the NBA suspended the Kings player for eight games after he plead guilty to domestic violence in 2016.
Bird does deserve the same respect, but he has just ruined any chance of a career if he is found guilty. He does not have the reputation that someone like a Collison or Foster had when their issues came up. He is only 21, which gives him time to make amends for the alleged indiscretion, but Bird is in no position for this to have occurred.
It does not bode well for Bird, or for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are aiming for a berth in the NBA Finals after Lebron James ran to Los Angeles, and they need as few distractions as possible. Bird is a young player who had the world at his fingertips. That has now potentially flown out of the window if this all comes to fruition.
One can hope that the future of Jabari Bird will be bright, and that it will not affect his future in basketball in the long term. For his short term future though, it is in major trouble. We can only hope that the best comes out of this situation for everybody involved.