Celtics

Bird says he's stepping away from Celtics

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Bird says he's stepping away from Celtics

In the midst of domestic violence allegations, Celtics guard Jabari Bird said on Thursday he is stepping away from the team.

Bird was held on $50,000 bail on charges he assaulted his girlfriend on Friday. He is facing charges of strangulation, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and kidnapping, and according to prosecutors, strangled her several times and she lost consciousness at several points.

According to Athletic writer Shams Charania, Bird will step away to deal with legal issues.

“I do not condone violence against women," said Bird. "I am hopeful that in due time and process, I will be able to regain everyone’s trust.”

The Celtics released a statement earlier on 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. 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.

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NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Podcast: Kyrie Irving discusses why he has not committed to the Celtics long term

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NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Podcast: Kyrie Irving discusses why he has not committed to the Celtics long term

1:00 - Kyrie Irving talked with Jackie MacMullan and discussed everything from how his knee feels to why he hasn’t committed to Boston long term, Our Early Edition crew discusses what he had to say.

7:50 - Marc Bertrand and Phil Perry break down the Patriots-Lions match up on Sunday, and debate whether the Lions have any shot of doing what the Jaguars did to the Patriots.

14:30 - Steve Buckley joins BST to discuss Chris Sale’s performance against the Indians.

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Kyrie Irving's comments to ESPN suggest he's happy in Boston

Kyrie Irving's comments to ESPN suggest he's happy in Boston

In a sit-down interview with Jackie MacMullan on ESPN.com, Kyrie Irving touched on a variety of subjects, primarily his optimism for the next few years, his health, beating the Golden State Warriors monolith, and those persitent rumors connecting him and Jimmy Butler to the New York Knicks.

Asked by MacMullan if he'd be disappointed if the Celtics didn't come away with a championship in 2019, Irving got right to brass tacks: "Can we beat Golden State in a seven-game series? Yes.''

And why so declarative?

"Because of who we have,'' Irving told MacMullan, "and what we're establishing here, not just for this season, but for hopefully for the next few years, something that's pretty special."

For his part, the five-time NBA All-Star and former NBA champ told MacMullan he's aware of the rumors of a shared interest between him and the disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves star of joining forces in New York, but that he hasn't talked with Butler at length since they were playing for USA Basketball in 2016.

"Who wouldn't be a part of this?" Irving told MacMullan, alluding to the Celtics' gleaming new practice facility in Brighton. "Who wouldn't want to be a part of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and Al Horford and Gordon Hayward? People keep saying, 'Why won't he commit to Boston?'

"Well, there are financial implications involved.''

Irving hasn't signed an extension, and could be in for a substantial payday in the summer of 2019 if all goes well. Irving says he's fine with the seemingly round-the-clock speculation about his future, saying, "I'm accepting it's going to be a constant story."

There's more good stuff to unpack that should get Celtics fans excited about the 2018-19 season. For one, he believes he's been the healthiest and strongest he's been in three years, and says he has a confidence in his lower body now that was absent in the 2017-18 season, as knee issues flared up again in the spring that shut him down for the playoffs.

For another, Irving doesn't appear to be afraid of the defending champion Warriors, who got even stronger this offseason with the surprising clearance-rack addition of DeMarcus Cousins, saying, "I've seen them up close. I've played them so many times. We've gone in a seven-game series [when I was in Cleveland], so I know what it takes."

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