Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic might be an angel, because if a co-worker gave me multiple facial fractures and a concussion in a fistfight, I would be suing my employers, my employer’s employers and my employer’s employer’s employers. I would spend the rest of my days at work looking like this:
But alas, I’m not Mirotic, who had his damn face broken after an Oct. 17 fight with Bulls teammate Bobby Portis. Portis has since apologized, and Mirotic is looking to move on.
“We are teammates,” Mirotic said after Wednesday’s practice, his first with the team and his first time speaking publicly about the incident, ESPN reports. “We are on the same team. Obviously we are fighting for this team. We both are going to do what we need to do to make it work. Yeah, I did accept his apology.”
Umm, fugg that. He broke your face, son. Your face!
Mirotic obviously didn’t want to rehash everything that led to the fight and wouldn’t address whether he and Portis had sat down and talked since the incident.
“I’m comfortable being with the team,” Mirotic told ESPN. “I had a lot of support from my teammates, from everybody. Right now it’s on me to relax and enjoy playing basketball again, to get my strength back. It’s been a long time since I didn’t play. … When I stepped into the United Center [Tuesday], it was a huge feeling for me. Really excited just to be on the bench, so yeah, I’m excited.”
Mirotic noted that his face has healed, but neither he nor Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg could say when he’d actually play.
“I know he’s excited to get back out there on the floor,” Hoiberg told ESPN. “That’s the final hurdle here, getting him back on the court, in uniform, in a game setting. Hopefully he responds well here to these next three days, and then we’ll make a determination from there as far as getting him back out on the floor. But he’s been in really good spirits. He’s been really good with the guys. Now it’s about getting in the best shape possible and getting ready to play.”
And while Mirotic was unclear about the nature of his relationship with Portis, he was adamant that he had no problems being a professional teammate.
“I’ve been playing this game nine years professionally,” Mirotic said. “I was always a good teammate, always professional with everybody, and I’m going to continue to do that. If I’m here it’s because I want to continue to support the team. He’s a part of the team. I’m going to support him, too. Obviously, I’m going to give him [fist bumps], like he would give me [fist bumps,] too.”
He’s a much better man than I, because I would have shown up to the Bulls practice facility like: