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