Bobby Portis has a volcanic character, a feature that allows you to bring out the best and worst in yourself as the wind blows. The player is known here for his assault on Nikola Mirotic, current star of Barça, in training when both played with the Chicago Bulls.
That incident sent Mirotic to the hospital with a concussion and multiple fractures to his jaw after receiving two or three slaps to the face. The event marked a low point for Portis in his professional career, since was suspended with eight games for the team and the league. Mirotic turned the page by going to the New Orleans Pelicans, and Portis stayed with the Bulls for a couple more years until he was traded to the Washington Wizards.
Portis, despite his controversial character, signed last summer for the Milwaukee Bucks after a year with the New York Knicks, a decision he now describes as a “great career decision.”
Inside started last night in the place of Giannis Antetokounmpo in the important 123-112 win for the Bucks, who made it 3-2 and are now one game away from their first NBA Finals since 1974. Without the two-time MVP, Portis the best scorer game of his career in a playoffs: 22 points in 36 minutes of play.
“Coming here has been the best decision of my career”, Portis pointed out after the match. “Having veterans like Giannis and Brook to train me on how to improve on defense and guys like Khris and Jrue to give me the ball so I can shoot my shots, and having Coach Bud … it’s been a great professional decision.
Portis was cheered by the stands in his first playoff start, and the player praised the connection between him and the stands: “It is a working-class city and I am a hard-working player.”
Milwaukee will seek qualification for the NBA Finals early Saturday morning. If he does not have to play it again in the seventh game at home and with the doubt about the availability of Antetokounmpo.