Nikola Mirotic says he accepts Bobby Portis’ apology, but probably told media before Bulls teammate

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Bobby Portis apologized for punching Nikola Mirotic during a Bulls practice.

Does Mirotic – who didn’t speak to Portis during his absence and reportedly requested Chicago trade one or the other – accept the apology?

Mirotic, via Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago:

“You know, we are teammates. On the same team,” Mirotic said. “Fighting for the same team and we’re both gonna do what we need to do to make it work. Yeah, I accept it (the apology).”

“I will not talk about what happened, but we both, Bobby and me and all the team is doing what we’re supposed to do, being professional. I think so far we’re doing good. We’re in a good way.”

When Mirotic was asked if Portis knows he’s accepted the public apology Portis issued days after the Oct. 17 incident, where Portis punched Mirotic in the face during practice, Mirotic said, “I guess he will know now.”

Mirotic wouldn’t say whether the trade request issued by his representatives to the Bulls still stands or even if it exists at all, saying “That’s something my agent can tell you. I’m happy to be back and everybody is trying to help me feel comfortable.”

Mirotic sounds as if he’s making the best of a bad situation – one complicated by the Bulls not giving him space to mope and his teammates reportedly siding with Portis. If he doesn’t want to talk to Portis, Mirotic shouldn’t. But harping on the grudge would only alienate his teammates further.

There’s probably still a tension within the Bulls. How could there not be?

But Mirotic, in his words today, is at least giving them a chance to move on. At least until he’s eligible to be traded by Jan. 15.