The fight between the two players reportedly happened during practice, and Portis allegedly punched Mirotic in the face.
Reporter Shams Charania described Portis' strike as "an alleged surprise punch"-in other words, a sucker punch". Paxson said that Mirotic needs to pass a concussion protocol before the facial injuries can be treated.
Both players will not travel with the team to Toronto for the regular season opener on Thursday night, which means the start at power forward will go to rookie Lauri Markkanen. But in this incident, he made a mistake.
"Bobby Portis is not a bad person", Paxson said. We all know when you make mistakes, we got to suffer the consequences.
The two players had been talking trash to one another in practice, going back and forth before those exchanges escalated into a physical encounter, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Portis then dropped Mirotic with a punch that floored him for several minutes before he got up. Mirotic has to wait until concussion symptoms subside before doctors can perform any surgery, so the four-to-six-week timetable could change.
The 6-foot-10, 238-pound Mirotic, 26, averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 70 games (15 starts) last season and was expected to start for Chicago this season.
Portis, entering his third season in the NBA since being taken in the first round by Chicago in the 2015 NBA Draft, received an eight-game suspension from Chicago, which announced the decision on Wednesday afternoon. Not that he didn't have his reasons, as Mirotic was a restricted free agent awaiting a contract from elsewhere or the Bulls.
The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem. Instead, he said, the team owners generally agreed it was important to listen to players' concerns.
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