The practice fight between Chicago Bulls forwards Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic in mid-October was a stunner on a number of levels. First, it isn’t every day that teammates scrap to the degree that one ends up injured for weeks and, through that same prism, the other is assessed with a lengthy suspension for his role in the dust-up. Beyond that, there has been plenty of buzz that Mirotic has no interest in playing alongside Portis again and, well, that isn’t a surprise considering the damage afflicted by his teammate.
With that said, it has been nearly a month since the incident and there is no resolution when it comes to the roster in Chicago. Portis has apologized publicly for his behavior, both in a general sense and to Mirotic, but those immediate overtures on his end were not returned by Mirotic. Fast forward a few more weeks and, apparently, the two still haven’t spoken despite being members of the same professional basketball team.
Portis addressed the media on Tuesday and, while he clearly had a message that he was able to stick to throughout the availability, the former Arkansas big man revealed that the two teammates haven’t crossed paths. The Chicago Tribune brings word from Portis, who indicates that the time away from basketball “gave (him) an outlook on things that happened” before addressing Mirotic’s reported demand that one player is removed from the roster by any means necessary.
“I’m here to play basketball,” Portis said. “I can’t control… who goes, I go, he go… I don’t control that. Only thing I can control is me coming into work every day. Working hard and being the same kid that I’ve always been. If I can continue to do that, then that’s all I can really control.”
It makes some sense that Portis would not want to dive headfirst into an issue that only Chicago’s front office can address directly but, in the same breath, it remains unfathomably weird that the two men are employed under the same roof. Of course, Mirotic has not returned to action just yet but, if he does and Portis is still around, things will jump to yet another level of bizarre.