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Nick Friedell: Portis said he couldn’t sleep last night because he was so giddy to play again. “I got my dream took away from me for three weeks. I don’t want to get my dream [taken] away from me anymore.”
Bulls lose 119-114 but the story is Bobby Portis scored a team-high 21 points and 13 rebounds. Very active throughout the night after coming back from an eight game suspension.
Bobby Portis is back! Well, soon perhaps. And his teammates are excited. “One hundred percent welcome,” said Justin Holiday. “Bobby’s important to this team; just as well as Niko is. We’re excited. Those are our brothers and when they come back we’re excited to have them back and help this team; with them we are better. Of course, we are excited about Bobby coming back; he knows that. I think he’s going to be ready to come in and play.
“That’s exciting,” Robin Lopez said about Portis’ return. “We’ve been playing with such great energy and Bobby is the epitome of that. I think he’s handled it as well as he could have. I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen with the rotations going forward, but I know he’s mentally prepared for that; and we’re excited to have him back.”
Portis was suspended for punching Bulls forward Niko Mirotic during an Oct. 17 practice. He knocked out his teammate and left him with a concussion and several facial fractures. “[Portis has] been practicing, and that will all be discussed in the next couple days, exactly what we’re going to do in the Toronto game,” Hoiberg said after Saturday’s overtime loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. “The biggest thing is try to go out there with the guys that we’ve had available and put them in a position where they’re competing and giving ourselves a chance to win. And for the most part, with the exception of the Oklahoma City game, we’ve done that. We’ll get that figured out in the next few days.”
Darnell Mayberry: Bobby Portis practiced today, as expected. But he will not speak to media today. He’s expected to address the media in the coming days.
KC Johnson: Justin Holiday: Bobby came in, worked hard like he always does. I reached out to Niko too. Make sure he knows he’s supported.
Vincent Goodwill: Paxson: I wouldn’t call it a sucker punch, no
Bobby Marks: The team suspension of Bobby Portis Jr. has different ramifications with regards to the Bulls roster. Portis Jr. will be moved from the active/inactive list to the suspended list after the Bulls third game, October 24 at Cleveland. A suspension by the NBA would have resulted in Portis Jr. remaining on the active/inactive list for 5 games and moving to suspended list after the Oklahoma City game on October 28. The Bulls can sign a player while Portis Jr. is on the suspended list.
KC Johnson: Bulls suspend Portis 8 games.
KC Johnson: Bulls say Portis can practice during suspension.
Josh Lewenberg: Dwane Casey on player fights when he was an assistant in Seattle… So, Gary Payton and…? “We had some doozies in Seattle, I’ll tell you what, some fisticuffs. One that started on the court and went in the weight room and went outside, come back in. It was a long one. I’ve seen those. The good thing about that, the people that were involved in that were able to come back together and bond back together, which is the hard part. You can’t let what happened yesterday come into tomorrow or next week or next month or hold it inside. That’s the trick and luckily in Seattle we had some of those but guys were able to get back together and maintain the team chemistry.”
KC Johnson: Bulls say exec VP John Paxson will address reporters, then Fred Hoiberg & Robin Lopez. Portis not at practice facility. Suspension imminent.
KC Johnson: But internal view is incident involved blame on both sides. Situation escalated over several possessions during scrimmage. 2/2
KC Johnson: As reported yesterday, Portis will be suspended after Bulls conclude standard policy of communication with league office. What factor this plays in suspension is unknown & obviously can’t throw punch. But Portis widely regarded for work ethic, commitment to team.
In their statement, the Bulls said they are “evaluating disciplinary action.” But a source said the team is merely following protocol for all such incidents by communicating with the league office and that Portis will be suspended for multiple games.
Vincent Goodwill: Mirotic does have a concussion and broken bones in his face. Expect Bobby Portis’ suspension to be significant
Darnell Mayberry: Mirotic is out indefinitely…Bulls are evaluating disciplinary action. Suspension for Ports likely. Hearing league office is now involved.
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June 17, 2018 | 10:15 pm EDT Update
If that “somewhere else” was OKC, how would the fanbase react considering they are still applying aloe vera to soothe the burns of two summers ago? Newly elected Oklahoma City mayor David Holt is a lifelong Oklahoman. He served as chief of staff under the previous mayor, Mick Cornett. The two played significant roles in bringing professional basketball to The Big Friendly. “I am fully aware how Thunder fans have felt since July 4, 2016, because I feel it, too,” Holt said. “And I think we’ll feel that way forever if the status quo is maintained. Yet all KD would have to say is ‘I choose you,’ and virtually all fans would forgive him.”
Gabe Ikard was an All-American lineman for the Oklahoma Sooners. Now retired from football, the longtime Thunder fan co-hosts Franchise Players for 107.7 The Franchise in Oklahoma City. Those dual titles grant him solid insight on the psyche of the fanbase. “Durant’s departure to the Golden State Warriors resulted in the biggest backlash to a player’s free-agency decision in the history of sports,” Ikard said. “I’m not quite sure he expected that extreme of a reaction. I’m not sure Oklahomans thought that they would react so severely to his decision either. “But,” he added, “no one thought it would be Golden State. I find it hard to believe people that say they would not welcome him back,” Ikard said. “It’s easy to call him a snake and cupcake now. But if he was dropping 40-plus in Thunder blue again, a lot of fans would find forgiveness quickly.”