CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Well, that didn’t take long.
Five games into the regular season and rookie Bobby Portis has already ticked off some of his teammates.
Make that “all of them,’’ if you ask the 20-year-old big man.
“I’ve pissed off all of them,’’ Portis said on Tuesday, almost wearing that badge proudly. “That’s just who I am, that’s what I do. I’m a guy that goes out and plays hard, every possession, every second, every minute, I’m going to give my all. Sometimes guys get a little rattled cause I’m going hard and they want me to slow down. But I feel like for me as a player, as a young guy, I have to do that just to get some respect.’’
Respect that Portis has been trying to earn in practice.
Since the 22nd pick overall is finding minutes almost impossible to come by behind the likes of Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic, his attitude has become his “practices are his games.’’
Considering Portis goes all out with everything he does, as well as loving the idea of playing the irritant like his role model Kevin Garnett, well, let’s just say Bulls practices haven’t been boring, especially in the paint.
“He’s getting out there, stirring things up,’’ coach Fred Hoiberg said of Portis in practice. “He’ll continue to do that every time he steps on the court, whether it’s a shootaround. He goes and gets extra work at night with [assistant coach] Pete Myers. Every time he steps on the floor, the kid goes 100 percent. That’s what you love about him.
“I look forward to getting him out there. I don’t know when it’s going to be. He’ll be ready. I’m 100 percent confident in that.’’
Hornets coach Steve Clifford is very good friends with Tom Thibodeau, and has heard from the former Bulls coach often this season.
“He gave me about 37 suggestions [Monday] night on our team,’’ Clifford said. “So I know he’s watching. Nah, I think he will use this year to make himself even a better coach. You could make the argument that his time in Chicago, he was the best coach in this league. If not, he’s obviously one of the top two or three. Having been around him, he’s studying, watching, keeping up on the NBA and the trends. When he gets back next year, he’ll be even better.’’