Bobby Portis’ Emergence Creating New Challenges for Chicago Bulls’ Frontcourt

October 16th, 2015 by Sean Highkin Leave a reply »

CHICAGO — Bobby Portis hasn’t played a real NBA game yet, but he’s already had his first encounter with the force that’s become one of the league’s rites of passage for rookies: Kevin Garnett’s mouth.

Portis grew up idolizing Garnett and came face-to-face with him during last Saturday’s Chicago Bulls preseason win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He got an earful.

“We were going back and forth,” Portis said this week at practice. “Talking a little trash. I can't really say [what he said], it's too explicit.”

Portis went right back at Garnett, both verbally and physically. The No. 22 pick in this June’s draft finished that game with 12 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes; it was just one chapter of a stellar, eye-opening preseason for the rookie that has impressed his coach, Fred Hoiberg, and the veterans he’s competing with for playing time.

“He is making it hard,” Hoiberg said. “I’ve said since day one that my biggest job is going to be to figure out a rotation and try to get everybod ...

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