Many players had long NBA careers being the enforcer/muscle guy on a team. Maybe not as skilled, but energetic and physical, they can be equally important as a prolific shooter or playmaker. Then some reckless players seemingly have serious anger issues. Those guys shouldn’t be on the court. We present to you, Bobby Portis.
Basketball is a fast, physical game, and everyone who played fouled someone harder than intended due to the speed of the game – it happens. But when you repeatedly smack people in the face and foul them while they are in the air, it stops being a coincidence. Fool me once, that whole thing.
The first hint Portis may be problematic was when we learned he envisions players slapping his mother before each game to psych himself up. When you think about it, it fits. He is merely slapping them back. Again, each player has his way to get ready for a game, maybe it’s a song or a ritual you do, but if you need to go as far as Portis, that should be a red flag on a scouting report. The fact his nickname is “crazy eyes” start painting a picture.
The worst part is, his worst offense isn’t on camera. In October 2017, Portis got into it with Nikola Mirotic while on the Bulls in practice. Portis took a swing, and Mirotic ended up in the hospital with a concussion and broken facial bones. The Bulls suspended him for eight games.
Charles Oakley said one of his primary roles on the Bulls was to make sure people don’t get too physical with Jordan. If you cross a line, Oakley would find you during the game and serve some of the same back at you. We don’t really have players like that anymore, someone to send a message: “Clean up your act, or else.” The league obviously doesn’t seem a problem with this pattern, so we shouldn’t expect much from them.
We just hope this doesn’t escalate, someone snaps one day and takes justice into their own hands. Could you blame them?