Bobby Portis' run-in with Warriors superstar Kevin Durant on Friday left the Bulls forward with a sprained elbow and a feeling that he is being treated differently by the officials because of his reputation.
"Obviously, everything is officiated differently towards me," Portis said softly before Saturday night's game against the Jazz. "It's because of that incident (with Nikola Mirotic) last year. Everybody thinks I'm this bad guy when really I'm a really good dude. Image is everything, and I guess that's what my image is."
Portis clocked Mirotic during an infamous 2017 practice altercation, leaving Mirotic with a concussion and facial fractures.
"I always play with an edge, play hard and kind of make these facial expressions to make it seem like I'm mad all the time on the court," Portis said. "It's just who I am: play hard, bring an edge. I really can't control the facial features I play with. It just happens. It's kind of a gift and a curse."
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Portis sat out Saturday's game and said he is day to day with an elbow that feels "funny."
Bulls coach Jim Boylen said the team is "sensitive to" the injury because Lauri Markkanen missed the season's first two months with a sprained elbow.
Portis and Durant got tangled up on a screen, and Portis believes that the Warriors star grabbed his right arm and purposely pulled it down.
"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."
Portis and Durant jawed at one another, each receiving a technical foul.
"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."
Zach LaVine was proud of his teammate for not backing down.
"Bobby's a tough dude," he said. "He's not gonna step down from anybody, and I'm right behind him. I think the whole team is right behind him. I like that; we need to be a lot tougher."