Bobby Portis was ejected from Saturday’s game for a hard foul on Tomas Satoransky.
Late in the fourth quarter of the Bulls’ game against the Wizards, Portis went up to attempt to block Satoransky and made contact with the Wizards guard. The result was Satoransky hitting the floor very hard after an awkward looking fall.
yeah uhhhh can't really do that Bobby Portis pic.twitter.com/uBKrVDCK05
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) February 11, 2018
Portis was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul, and subsequently ejected from the game. Satoransky had blood coming from near his eye, but was able to leave the court under his own power.
The win over Chicago could prove to be a costly one for Washington. Satoransky has been starting during John Wall’s absence. If he is forced to miss time, the Wizards would be in a bit of a jam at the point guard position. Tim Frazier, who has been backing up Satoransky, suffered a nasal fracture on Saturday and may need surgery. Ironically, Portis was involved in Frazier’s injury as well as it was Portis’ knee that came in contact with Frazier’s head.
Tim Frazier head hit Bobby Portis knee that drew blood. He’s heading back to the lockeroom #DCFamily
— Chris Miller (@cmillsnbcs) February 11, 2018
- Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis on Friday further addressed the Nikola Mirotic altercation that resulted in a hospital visit for Mirotic and eventually led to him being traded.
The Chicago Bulls forward said that he is “sorry” for what happened. He also said that he and Mirotic tried to keep a professional relationship while teammates but never really got along.
Portis looking back on Mirotic altercation: “I’m sorry for what happened. We tried to be professional, make things work on the court. We did that. Off the court, we never talked. We played cards (on the plane) one time. It was kind of awkward. So we didn’t play anymore.”
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 2, 2018
Mirotic ended up with two broken bones in his face after a practice fight with Portis in October, leading to a suspension for Portis. Portis has played in 42 games this season for the Bulls and is averaging 12.1 points and 20.5 minutes per game.
Mirotic is averaging 16.8 points in 25 games this season for Chicago. He was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans this week.
- Bobby Portis
The Chicago Bulls’ locker room has reportedly made their decision on who to side with in the conflict between Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Bulls players are siding with Portis in the feud, with one Bulls player telling Cowley that Mirotic’s demands that one of them must go “is Niko’s problem now.”
Bulls players do not defend Portis for punching Mirotic, but the team’s younger players felt that Mirotic acted entitled to a starting job during training camp. They also feel that Portis has done what is necessary to reach out and apologize to Mirotic, and they see Mirotic’s failure to respond as another strike against the veteran.
Reports have indicated that the Bulls doubt that Portis and Mirotic can ever mend fences after their practice fight. By the sound of it, Portis’s teammates wouldn’t be too upset to see the back of Mirotic either.
Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic haven’t exactly made up since their fight before the season began. Far from it.
Portis said before the Chicago Bulls’ Tuesday night game against the Toronto Raptors that he hasn’t spoken with Mirotic yet.
“No, I haven’t talked to Niko,” Portis said before the game, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
Portis said he texted and called Mirotic but didn’t hear back and hasn’t reached out since.
“I just let bygones be bygones with that,” Portis said. “I can’t control that. Only thing I can control is myself at this point. I’m not worried about who goes, who stays, only thing I’m worried about is coming in trying to play at the highest level possible. I’m living my dream right now; this is my dream, I’ve always wanted to play in the NBA. I’m here, and that’s all I want to do at this point.”
Portis spoke with the media because he returned on Tuesday from an eight-game suspension for his fight with Mirotic at a team practice on Oct. 17. Portis punched Mirotic, giving his teammate a concussion and facial fractures. Mirotic reportedly has been distant from the team and his teammates since the incident.
When the Chicago Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night, forward Bobby Portis will take his spot on the bench and play back-up to Lauri Markkanen, possibly even seeing some reserve minutes throughout the game.
It will be Portis’ first action of the season after serving a team-issued eight-game suspension following an altercation with teammate Nikola Mirotic on October 17, which resulted in Mirotic suffering a concussion and facial fractures.
Although he is no longer experiencing any concussion symptoms, the timetable for Mirotic’s return is not nearly as close at hand. In fact, he’s expected to miss several more weeks and that, understandably, does not sit well.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports that Mirotic remains both upset about the altercation and distant from his teammates and the organization.
Though he is free of his concussion symptoms, Nikola Mirotic remains weeks away from returning from the two facial fractures that Portis caused with a punch to the face during an Oct. 17 altercation between the forwards in practice. Mirotic remains upset enough over the disparity in time of absences that he has had little contact with teammates, and his camp has made clear to management that, for now, it doesn’t see a way the two forwards can coexist.
Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg supports the return of Portis despite Mirotic’s continued frustration.
“This is something that unfortunately, it happened,” Hoiberg said. “There was an altercation. And Bobby served the eight-game suspension. It was something that was thought a lot about as far as what the punishment would be, in collaboration with the league. They felt that this was the right punishment. He sat out his games and was able to stay active and practice with us. Now we’ll put him back on the floor. And we welcome him back.”
To this point, Portis and Mirotic have not spoken since the altercation, although Portis has reportedly attempted to reach out. Ultimately, it’s going to be very tricky for the Bulls to keep both players on their roster despite continued efforts to do exactly that.
Chicago Bulls vice president John Paxson continues to try to navigate the minefield that was laid down when two of his players fought in practice.
Paxson tried to defend himself and the team over accusations that the Bulls have thrown Nikola Mirotic under the bus for his role in a fight with Bobby Portis that severely injured Mirotic.
Word leaked publicly that the Bulls felt that Mirotic was the aggressor in the fight, and sources told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that Mirotic’s camp is not pleased by that — nor the fact that Portis was allowed to practice during his eight-game suspension. Paxson sees it differently.
“There are always two sides,” Paxson said. “In doling out the punishment to Bobby, that’s fairly unprecedented, too, what we did. Like I told you last week, we consulted with the league to make sure we were going about it the right way. We’re confident with what we did. I’ve never been in Niko’s position where something like that happens. We are trying to understand it and work with him and his people. But we can’t just do something for the sake of doing it. It has to be in our best interest too.”
Paxson also navigated the rumors that Mirotic has more or less told the Bulls that either he or Portis must go, with the executive VP repeatedly saying that the team is trying to be “sensitive.”
“I don’t have that answer right now,” Paxson said. “Your hope is that as time goes on, there can be some communication where it gets resolved. But this is a unique situation.
“We’re supportive of Niko and what he’s going through. We support Bobby too. He’s a part of our team. You sit here in my position, (general manager Gar Forman’s) position, ownership’s position and you see it’s a distraction. But we also have to keep these young guys focused on what they’re doing. And they’re playing games right now and trying to get better every day.”
The Bulls would obviously like a say in how Mirotic and Portis’s futures with the team shake out. This situation doesn’t appear to be improving, though.
The Chicago Bulls reportedly are pessimistic about the ability of Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic to co-exist moving forward.
Earlier this month, the Bulls suspended Portis eight games for an altercation with Mirotic that left Mirotic with a concussion and facial fractures. Mirotic was reportedly the aggressor in the incident, in which he was punched in the face by Portis.
Mirotic is expected to miss several weeks with his injuries. When he is able to return, being on the same team with Portis does not appear to be considered a healthy situation. As K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune shares, there are indications Mirotic would accept a trade away from Chicago, and there is a sentiment he and Portis can’t co-exist on the same team.
New development: There are indications Mirotic now would pass on veto and accept trade, per sources. Mirotic can't be traded until Jan. 18.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 26, 2017
Whatever happens, it's clear there's pessimism Portis and Mirotic can co-exist moving forward.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 26, 2017
The Bulls are likely in for a long season after changes to the roster that include the trading of Jimmy Butler and buyout of Dwyane Wade. It would make the season even worse to have a potentially toxic locker room environment. For all parties involved, a breakup is probably the best solution.