Chicago Bulls suspend Bobby Portis eight games for role in scuffle

Nikola Mirotic

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There's not really much precedent as far as suspensions for misconduct on the practice court go, but when you consider that Latrell Sprewell once got 68 games for choking head coach P.J. Carlesimo at practice (in a much different era of the NBA), maybe Portis got off easy here.

Reporter Shams Charania described Portis' strike as "an alleged surprise punch"-in other words, a sucker punch".

Bulls executive vice president John Paxson said Wednesday that Mirotic is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering fractures to his upper jaw and a concussion.

"Bobby Portis is not a bad person". He's a competitive kid, but in this instance he made a mistake.

Mirotic, 26, had been set to start for the Bulls' season opener on Thursday in Toronto. And as we all know when you make mistakes you got to suffer the consequences.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mirotic stayed on the ground for several minutes following the punch before getting up.

During the fight, Portis punched Mirotic, causing the facial injuries. He was taken to the hospital and released later Tuesday.

There's a lot of high expectations for Portis, the 22-year-old Little Rock, Ark. native, who averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Bulls last season.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that animosity between Portis and Mirotic had been building for years and that the two forwards had gotten into a "handful" of shouting and shoving matches in practice since the 2015-16 season.

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