National Basketball Association (NBA) player Bobby Portis has been suspended, according to The Chicago Sun Times.
The Sun Times on Wednesday reported that Portis has been benched for eight games following an altercation the day before.
Portis and his Chicago Bulls teammate Nikola Mirotic had a confrontation that resulted in the latter getting hospitalized.
Multiple witnesses told The Sun Times that the pair had a heated encounter during a Tuesday practice.
The disagreement resulted in an apparent shoving match, they added, before Portis threw what was described as a “sucker punch” at Mirotic’s face.
“Bobby Portis is not a bad person,” John Paxson said Wednesday. “He’s a good kid but he made a mistake.”
“We anticipate Niko being out four-six weeks, but [he] needs to clear concussion protocol,” added Paxson, the Bulls’ vice president of basketball operations, of Mirotic.
Mirotic, 26, was taken to a hospital after suffering a concussion in Tuesday’s scuffle with Portis, 22.
The Bulls added that Mirotic also has several broken bones in his face that will require surgery once the swelling recedes.
NBA sources told ESPN on Wednesday that Mirotic charged at Portis twice before the latter threw a punch.
Mirotic fell to the floor and remained there for several minutes before getting up, they added, in a clash witnessed by Bulls general manager Gar Forman.
Portis averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season, and he was battling Mirotic for the Bulls’ starting power forward spot before Tuesday’s battle.
Mirotic averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 2016, and he signed a two-year deal with $12.5 million guaranteed this season to stay with the Bulls as an expected starter.
The Bulls are scheduled to play in an away game against the Toronto Raptors this Thursday night.