Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis has been suspended for eight games after striking teammate Nikola Mirotic in the face at the end of Tuesday night’s team practice, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The team will allow Portis to practice during his suspension.
Portis recently had a call with the league office to discuss the outcome of his incident, after knocking out Mirotic cold when tempers flared during yesterday’s practice.
Both players have been known to not get along during their two years together in the Bulls’ roster.
Bulls Executive Vice President John Paxson said both players owned responsibility for the incident, but only one threw a punch, resulting in the suspension.
Mirotic is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a severe concussion, but noted that would have to subside before the team can address further injury.
Paxson was asked what took place, after a day’s worth of mystery prior to Tuesday’s tip-off game between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I wouldn’t call it a sucker punch at all,” he said. “They were both aggressive leading up to it. But Bobby crossed a line.”
Paxson noted the doctors recommended surgery, but the decision will be ultimately up to Mirotic to take.
Portis’ eight-game suspension could have gone worse, as the team reserves the right to terminate his contract under Section 16, II of the agreement he signed with the organization.