Celtics guard Jabari Bird arrested in alleged domestic violence incident

USA Today

Celtics guard Jabari Bird arrested in alleged domestic violence incident

BOSTON – Jabari Bird remains under guarded watch by Boston police at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton, Mass, following an incident in which the Celtics guard was arrested for allegedly assaulting another individual.

Bird, who will likely undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being released from the hospital to be booked, will face charges of assault and battery, strangulation and kidnapping.

What police are calling a domestic violence incident occurred Friday night in Brighton. The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to a separate hospital for treatment of injuries from the incident.

Bird won’t be officially booked until after he is released from the hospital.

The Celtics released the following statement early Saturday morning:

“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.”

Bird, 24, selected by Boston with the 56th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft from Cal-Berkeley, was signed to a two-way contract as a rookie.

A 6-foot-6, 197-pound shooting guard, Bird split time between the Celtics (13 games) and their Gatorade League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, last season.

After a strong showing on Boston’s summer league team in Las Vegas, the team rewarded him with a two-year, $2.9 million contract.

Now, this incident puts Bird’s future with the Celtics very much in a state of uncertainty.

While they loved his energy and athleticism, he comes into this season far from being one of the team's top players.

Bird has had several injuries in college at Cal and last season with the Celtics and Red Claws that he has had to overcome.

Still, this is obviously different.

And while those physical bumps and bruises healed in time, there’s no telling how long it’ll take for him to get past this incident.


Marcus Smart's impossibly hot 3-point shooting

Marcus Smart's impossibly hot 3-point shooting

BOSTON — The fur-trimmed jacket that Marcus Smart wore to his postgame media session Friday hinted at a player who expected to be in front of the cameras. But, given the way he’s been shooting the ball lately, it’d be fair if Smart dressed with a little extra swag most nights.

Heck, Smart probably didn’t need a coat. He spent Friday night engulfed in flames while connecting on six of the eight 3-pointers he hoisted while finishing with 20 points in Boston’s 122-116 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Smart is now shooting 37.4 percent beyond the 3-point arc this season. That’s nearly 2 full percentage points above league average. He’s shooting better beyond the arc than Klay Thompson (36.9 percent entering Friday’s action). 

In fact, Boston’s starting backcourt of Smart and Kyrie Irving have combined to shoot 41.1 percent beyond the arc this year. That’s not too far off from the 41.7 percent that Thompson and Steph Curry have combined to average this season for Golden State.

Splash Brothers East? Snow Bros? Cobra Ky? After combining to shoot 71.4 percent beyond the arc in Friday’s game, Boston’s starting backcourt duo might need a nickname.

It’d be fair to wonder if this is just another one of Smart’s hot streaks but it’s gone on so long now that — if he can stay healthy — it might not be a mirage.


Smart is shooting 53.7 percent beyond the 3-point arc in January while putting up 5.1 attempts through eight games. Since Dec. 15, Smart is shooting a team-best 47.4 percent beyond the arc.

Smart entered the season shooting 29.3 percent from 3 for his career and still feels disrespected when people suggest this is some sort of fluke.

"My whole life I’ve been criticized for all kinds of things,” said Smart. "I’ve always been the underdog, and I’ve always bet on myself. So this isn’t new to me and to be honest, it’s not even a surprise to me. 

"Like I said, I’ve been putting in the work and eventually it was going to pay off, and it’s starting to, and I’m feel good, and this team is feeling good. They keep giving me confidence and my confidence is going to stay up.  Hopefully the shots keep falling.”

Smart has maintained that there’s nothing mechanical to his improvements beyond simply staying healthy and putting in the work to improve his shot. His coach backs up his story.

“I thought [Smart] was going to have a really good shooting year last year. He put in a lot of time and work over the summer and then he had a couple of hand injuries and I think that that set him back for that season,” said Brad Stevens. "But you could see that there was a foundation there that was going to really pay off. He’s always made big shots but you could see that his shot had really improved, so it was unfortunate about the injuries.  And then this year, it’s looked good all year.”

Echoed Smart: "I definitely felt the same way. I took a destructive injury with my hand a few times, so it kind of delayed the process. I thank God that everything has been on track for me. I’ve just been working and kept at it, and I finally been able to break through.”


Smart has been quick to credit the 3-point shooting contests he and teammates tend to engage in after practice but the secret might ultimately just be health and confidence. It’s obvious just how much Smart trusts that shot right now. That much was on display when he came racing to the top of the arc and swished a catch-and-shoot 3 in the second half of Friday’s win.

In typical Smart fashion, he’s shot absurdly well above the breaks this season but struggled from the corner. Many NBA players feast on corner triples but Smart clearly prefers the added degree of difficulty.

In the bigger picture, when Smart can contribute consistent offense, it makes it even harder for Stevens to take him off the court. He’s developed great chemistry with Irving, maybe even setting the sort of defensive example that forced Irving to embrace that side of the ball this season.

There’s a strong case to be made for Smart as Boston’s second All-Star should the East coaches voting reserves desire to put another Celtics player in the game (though the team’s overall struggles make that a tougher sell).

Is Smart’s shooting sustainable? The past month suggests it is. If Smart can stay healthy, there’s no reason that 3-pointer can’t remain a weapon. But what’s maybe more important to sustaining it is Smart, with his underdog mentality, keeps finding motivation in proving his doubters wrong.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.