Bulls' Nikola Mirotic accepts Bobby Portis' apology


Nikola Mirotic addressed the media as he nears return from injuries sustained from his in-practice fight with Bobby Portis.

Since then the two have not spoken, and Mirotic and his camp have even issued an ultimatum to the Bulls that either Portis had to go or Mirotic would be willing to waive his no-trade clause so that he could be traded when he's eligible in mid-January.

"The only thing I can tell you is that I've been playing this game nine years professionally", Mirotic said. "I was always a good teammate, always professional to everybody, and I'm going to continue to do that", Mirotic said, deflecting one question about their relationship going forward.

"If I'm here, it means that my team needs me and I need my team too, to be back in play", said Mirotic.

"I'm comfortable being with the team", Mirotic explained. He's a part of the team.

Mirotic - who had been sidelined since October 17 with 2 broken bones in his face - returned to practice on Wednesday. and told reporters he's ready to move past the incident. "I just know that right now the only goal - Bulls' goal and my goal - is to make me get back with the team and practice together and get my strength back and as soon as I can, play with the team". The other part remembers that the National Basketball Association isn't like your typical work environment and co-existing with combative teammates goes with the territory of being a multimillionaire succeeding in testosterone-fueled workplace.

Mirotic along with Zach LaVine, who continues his long rehab from a torn ACL, will workout with the Windy City Bulls over the next week to continue their game conditioning. "Obviously, I'm going to give him [fist bumps], like he would give me [fist bumps] too".

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"We were both doing what we needed to do, " Mirotic said.

Not only will Mirotic let bygones be bygones, but he will also support Portis as though he is any other teammate.

While neither he nor head coach Fred Hoiberg committed to a return date, Mirotic said his facial fractures have fully healed.

"Obviously, I didn't expect this to happen, you know". "That's the final hurdle here, getting him back on the court, in uniform, in a game setting".

"I'm used to the up-and-down", said Mirotic.

He was cleared for full contact and has participated in one-on-one drills, including windmill dunks, as well as three-on-three drills.

"He's been in really good spirits. Now it's about getting in the best shape possible and getting ready to play". I'm always trying to find the good things after all this situation so right now it's been how many games, close to 20 games. "Lauri is playing great, which I'm very happy for him, but this is not very important now, if I'm going to be starting or not again".