Bobby Portis makes first public statement since punching Mirotic

NBA Fans Right Now

Chicago Bulls third-year forward Bobby Portis is now serving an eight-game suspension for punching teammate Nikola Mirotic in the face during practice earlier this week that required Mirotic to be hospitalized.

Portis, who was suspended eight games for the incident, broke multiple bones in Mirotic's face and gave him a concussion when he punched him a practice just before the start of the regular season.

I am not convinced Portis wasn't hit with a tranquilizer dart immediately before addressing the media. "I want to publicly apologise to Niko". Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said that the most important thing right now is that Mirotic heals up. He also called Portis "a good kid" who "made a mistake". Portis, a first-round pick in 2015, said he's tried to contact his teammate, but has received no response. He's optimistic they can fix their relationship, which featured Mirotic again winning the starting power forward position over Portis during training camp.

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"Going forward, I want to make sure that Nico and I are cool and that we can be teammates again", Portis said. "I'm sad that this happened, but it did. We just have to fix the relationship". The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Portis was unhappy that Mirotic was not present for summer workouts and that Portis' offseason efforts did not result in a starting job. He said he's not anxious about Mirotic possibly taking legal action against him. "I'm a competitor. But I never meant to hurt my own teammate".

"I got suspended and it's my fault", Portis said. "I take it as a man". "I'm pretty sure we can - we just need to fix this relationship".

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