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Report: Nikola Mirotic upset Bobby Portis returning to play before him

Bulls Portis Suspended Basketball

FILe - At left, in a Jan. 2, 2017, file photo, Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago. At right, in an Oct. 4, 2017, file photo, Chicago Bulls’ Bobby Portis (5) handles the ball during a preseason NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, in Dallas. The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for the first eight games for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice. Mirotic suffered multiple broken bones in his face as well as a concussion on Tuesday. He will likely need surgery and is out indefinitely. The team announced the suspension on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

AP

Nikola Mirotic was reportedly unhappy the Bulls allowed Bobby Portis to practice during a team-issued eight-game suspension for punching Mirotic in the face.

Mirotic darn sure isn’t happy Portis is returning to play while Mirotic still recovers from the punch that hospitalized him.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Meanwhile, 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.

While suspending Portis, the Bulls said Mirotic deserved blame for the fight, too. What did Mirotic expect would happen once Portis served his eight games?

Maybe Portis should have received a different penalty initially. Perhaps, his ban should have lasted as long as Mirotic is out. But that train has long left the station.

Portis paid his issued penalty. He should be allowed to play.

This situation will only get trickier as Mirotic gets healthier, though. Mirotic reportedly gave Chicago a me-or-him ultimatum. If Mirotic was already upset, seeing Portis on the court probably won’t relieve tension.