Bulls Suspend Bobby Portis Eight Games After Scuffle with Nikola Mirotic

Lynette Rowe
October 19, 2017

The punishment comes after Portis and forward Nikola Mirotic had a "physical altercation" during Tuesday's practice, per a statement from the Bulls.

Portis and Mirotic exchanged choice words before a brief shoving match ensued. He will be allowed to practice with the team while he is suspended.

He and Mirotic are expected to play key roles for a franchise looking to bounce back from a disappointing first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Boston Celtics, who erased a 2-0 deficit and won four straight to eliminate the Bulls.

Portis will serve the suspension beginning with the Bulls' season opener at Toronto on Thursday night. "He's a good kid, but he made a mistake". Portis then dropped Mirotic with a punch that floored him for several minutes before he got up.

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The fight between the two players reportedly happened during practice, and Portis allegedly punched Mirotic in the face. Mirotic was sent to the hospital after the incident. Mirotic later underwent tests and was diagnosed with a concussion in addition to a broken jaw and facial fractures from the fight. He averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds last season before re-signing with the Bulls on a two-year, $27 million deal just before training camp.

The 6-11, 248-pound Portis, 22, averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in 64 games (13 starts) last season and was battling Mirotic for the starting power forward spot.

The Bulls announced Tuesday that surgery is likely for Mirotic.

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