Report: Bulls Locker Room Supports Bobby Portis in Nikola Mirotic Feud


FILe - At left, in a Jan. 2, 2017, file photo, Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago. At right, in an Oct. 4, 2017, file photo, Chicago Bulls' Bobby Portis (5) handles the ball during a preseason NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, in Dallas. The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for the first eight games for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice. Mirotic suffered multiple broken bones in his face as well as a concussion on Tuesday. He will likely need surgery and is out indefinitely. The team announced the suspension on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Uncredited/Associated Press

Chicago Bulls ahead Nikola Mirotic would not wish to play on the identical staff as Bobby Portis, based on Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, after Portis punched Mirotic within the face Oct. 17 throughout an altercation at observe. But his teammates are reportedly taking Portis’ facet within the matter.

As Cowley wrote: “According to a minimum of two Bulls gamers, the ultimatum issued by Mirotic and his camp that both he or Portis has to go is carrying zero weight. If something, it has additional entrenched Portis together with his teammates with one telling the Sun-Times, ‘This is Niko’s downside now.'”

Mirotic remains to be recovering from Portis’ punch, which despatched him to the hospital with a concussion and two damaged bones and resulted in an eight-game suspension for Portis. Mirotic, who remains to be possible weeks away from returning to motion, reportedly is not completely happy that Portis has returned to the courtroom earlier than him, based on Ok.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Mirotic additionally hasn’t had a lot contact together with his teammates because the incident.

While the opposite Bulls have not excused Portis’ actions, they reportedly sensed an altercation looming, per Crowley:

“To a person, Portis punching a teammate was mistaken. There’s not one Bulls participant disputing that. But because the Sun-Times initially reported, there continues to be a lingering sense that Mirotic got here into coaching camp with a sense of entitlement, and that was not sitting properly with lots of his youthful teammates.

“When he made an aggressive movement towards Portis—not the primary time the 2 have had points with one another in observe over time—the 22-year-old Portis clearly had sufficient.”

Portis’ teammates reportedly felt he has made efforts to restore the state of affairs, which included texting and calling Mirotic, although Mirotic hasn’t responded and the pair nonetheless have not spoken.

Portis informed reporters Tuesday:

“I simply let bygones be bygones with that. I am unable to management that. Only factor I can management is myself at this level. I am not anxious about who goes, who stays. Only factor I am anxious about is coming in making an attempt to play on the highest degree potential. I am residing my dream proper now. This is my dream. I’ve at all times wished to play within the NBA. I am right here, and that is all I wish to do at this level.”

Portis served because the backup to promising energy ahead Lauri Markkanen on Tuesday night in his return and made a serious affect, notching 21 factors, 13 rebounds and 4 badists in 24 minutes of recreation time.

Publicly, the Bulls have favored diplomacy. Center Robin Lopez informed Johnson:

“Obviously, that is a troublesome state of affairs. The penalties aren’t what you wish to occur. Guys perceive that there are scuffles. Sometimes, these items occur. But we all know the punch should not have been thrown. We noticed the consequence from that. As we talked about earlier than, our job as teammates is to ensure we attempt to mend that relationship as a lot as potential.”

Privately, nonetheless, the gamers might even see issues in a different way. In Portis, his teammates reportedly see “a man that has put in all of the work this summer time, is a greater teammate and is simply extra favored,” based on Cowley.

The implication of that report appears to be clear: If sides are compelled to be drawn, the Bulls’ gamers are on Team Portis.

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