Boston Celtics guard Jabari Bird entered a not guilty plea yesterday to charges of domestic assault, strangulation and kidnapping.
After "being guarded" at St. Elizabeth's Hospital following the incident, Bird appeared in court Thursday morning to be arraigned.
Bird's accuser is a 20-year-old student at a prominent university in Boston.
The ordeal, sparked by what the woman called "trust issues", went on for several hours, she said, until Bird experienced "seizure-like" symptoms and fell.
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He is now free after posting $50,000 cash bail, and said in a statement that the full story of the incident is not yet been publicized.
Most importantly, our thoughts are with the victim of this incident.
"I do not condone violence against women", he said.
A report was handed down Thursday that Bird is stepping away from the team for "legal and medical issues" in the wake of the criminal charges against him for domestic violence. "I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone's trust".
The argument quickly escalated when Bird "began to strangle her using one of his hands around her neck, also throwing her against the wall", Boston police wrote in the report. 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.
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The Celtics have acknowledged they know of Bird's arrest, but have declined further comment since the weekend.
Bird was ordered to not have any contact with the alleged victim or any witnesses, and he must stay away from her college.
The Boston Celtics need to move on from Jabari Bird.
The Celtics selected Bird with the No. 56 overall pick in the 2017 NBA 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. He appeared in 13 regular-season games for the Celtics last season, averaging 3 points per game.
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