Chicago Bulls ban Bobby Portis for punch that put team-mate in hospital

Chicago Bulls ban Bobby Portis for punch that put team-mate in hospital

Mirotic, 26, had won the Bulls' starting power forward for the season opener Thursday.

Bulls forward Bobby Portis has been suspended eight games after punching teammate and fellow forward Nikola Mirotic, the team announced Wednesday. Mirotic charged at Portis twice before Portis threw a punch and connected with Mirotic's face, according to the report.

The Chicago Bulls also sent a player to the hospital with broken bones on the NBA's opening night.

The fight between the two players reportedly happened during practice, and Portis allegedly punched Mirotic in the face.

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Paxson called Portis' actions "inexcusable", but added, "Bobby Portis is not a bad person".

"Both players owned responsibility in the incident itself", said John Paxson, the Bulls' president of basketball operations. He's a competitive kid, but in this instance he made a mistake. "And as we all know when you make mistakes, you have to suffer the consequences". Mirotic has to wait until concussion symptoms subside before doctors can perform any surgery, so the four-to-six-week timetable could change. Portis, 22, averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds a game last season, including 13 starts.

Portis will be allowed to practice with the team during his suspension, though he won't be eligible to play again until the Bulls visit the Raptors on November 7. A restricted free agent, he signed a two-year contract that could pay as much as $27m in September.

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