On October 17, Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis engaged in an altercation in practice with the Chicago Bulls before the start of the Regular Season. Pushing, shoving and verbal exchanges ended in Portis punching Mirotic in the face, sending him to the hospital. Mirotic suffered broken facial bones and a concussion which forced him to miss almost four weeks. Portis received an eight-game suspension which he served.

Mirotic stayed silent. While Portis publicly apologized and accepted his punishment, Mirotic did not reach out to him or his teammates for weeks.

Portis even tried reaching out to him to patch things up, but Mirotic ignored his teammate. There then arose a rumor which suggested the Bulls would have to lose one of them because the other was not willing to work things out. The Bulls players seem to have the back of the guy who threw the punch which says a lot.

Today Nikola Mirotic returned to Bulls' practice for the first time since the injury, and he is still ignoring Bobby Portis.


According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Bulls beat writer Joe Cowley, reported that the team wanted Nikola Mirotic to begin basketball activities and to be with his teammates. There are currently no talks regarding the alleged trade wishes, and they plan to keep both guys on the team.

VP John Paxson spoke on behalf of the situation.

"The reality is that you just can’t move a guy for the sake of moving him. We’re going to have to do what’s in our best interests, first and foremost. That’s how we’re going about it day-to-day. Both Niko and Bobby are on our roster right now. And Niko’s getting cleared to do more and more.

This obviously is coming to a position where it’s going to have to be resolved between the two.’’

While Mirotic was at the Advocate Center, he was not on the floor but working out in the weight room according to CBS Chicago. Reports indicate that he worked out alongside a couple of Bulls teammates but did not make any contact with Bobby Portis.

He remains upset about the incident, and things have not worked out as he continues to avoid him. Portis told Cowley that he is still willing to make amends with Mirotic and welcome him back.

The future

It is impossible to have the two remain on the team and not interact at some point. Paxson made it clear that he expects the two to resolve their conflict and not have to get rid of one of them. It was very telling when Cowley reported a few days earlier that the locker room was on Portis' side, the one that threw the punch. Portis being ready to mend and move on is making a much better impression on the team than ignoring and avoiding people.

It is time for Nikola Mirotic to reach out to Bobby Portis so they can mend their relationship and move on, he has no other choice to at least be civil with him and his squad.