In the third quarter of Friday’s game between the Bulls and the Warriors, Bobby Portis attempted to set a screen on Kevin Durant so that Kris Dunn could get to the basket. Durant tried to get past Portis using a swim move—not unlike what a defensive lineman uses to get to a QB—and ended up pulling Portis’s arm, and injuring his elbow. Portis walked to the sideline, wincing in pain, but then got back onto the court to get in Durant’s face about it.
In case it wasn’t clear, Portis believed that Durant knew what he was doing and caused the injury on purpose. He doubled down on this belief on Saturday to reporters before the Bulls’ game against the Jazz, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Yeah, that wasn’t inadvertent,” he said. “If I would have done that, I would have gotten a foul called on me. I guess it’s just who you’re playing against. Everything is officiated different toward whoever it is, but if you look back at the video at the time, it was obvious.’’
He also broke down what the two players—who each received a tech—were talking about in that less-than-friendly discussion.
“I asked him: ‘You got a problem or what?’ ” Portis said.
Asked if Durant apologized, Portis replied: “Ain’t no apologies in basketball. Nobody feels sorry for nobody. That’s how it goes.”
Portis, whose injury took him out of Saturday’s game and is now day-to-day with it, attributes the supposed discriminatory officiating policies to his incident last year when he punched then-teammate Nikola Mirotic so hard in the face that he had to go to the hospital to get it fixed. But what exactly is the logic there? Is every official a secret Mirotic fan that lets players get away with fouls on Portis as some long-game retribution for their favorite player? Or are officials quicker to the whistle with Portis to stop him from punching someone again? Neither realistically applies. Plus, this reasoning would only make sense if it meant that he earned more fouls than the average player. Currently, Portis is tied with 18 other players for 161st in the league in personal fouls per game. Seems like a poorly run conspiracy.
As for whether Durant purposely hurt Portis on the play, that’s probably not the case. Not only does Portis have the eyes of someone who has bodies in the walls of his home, he also, and I cannot stress this enough, broke his own teammate’s face. To my knowledge, Durant isn’t an idiot, so we can probably chalk this up as an accident.