LAS VEGAS – At least Joakim Noah left the nickname.
That’s what the former long-time Bull now turned New York Knick, called Bobby Portis when the two hit it off in training camp last season.
Oh, and the eyes are still crazy.
There they were on Sunday night in Game 2 of Summer League play, burning a hole through a referee that dared to call Portis’ apparent block a foul.
“Tough, at the same time it’s a business,’’ Portis said of Noah’s free-agency departure. “Sometimes that’s what happens. Me and Joakim Facetimed twice over the last two weeks so it’s been cool to talk to him.
Portis is hoping so.
As a rookie last season, the forward/center definitely wasn’t shy. Whether it was referring to himself in third person in interviews or launching shots from anywhere on the court, he wanted to make his presence felt.
In the 62 games he played in during the 2015-16 campaign, Portis averaged seven points and 5.4 rebounds per game, shooting 43 percent from the field and 31 percent from three-point range.
And while coach Fred Hoiberg wants Portis to stay aggressive, he also wants the excitable big to understand the difference between taking shots and taking good shots.
“The biggest thing with Bobby, you know we want Bobby shooting rhythm threes,’’ Hoiberg said. “He works on it. That’s one of the biggest things he’s done this summer is work on his long-range shot. So with Bobby it’s not taking the long contested two, mid-clock shot.
“I thought [Saturday’s Summer League win] was good. I thought he even passed up a few that I wished he would have shot, specifically that corner three after he just hit one from the top. But we’ve been working a lot with Bobby and his footwork, talking a lot about shot selection, and I think that will improve next [season].’’
While it’s only Summer League, there have been some signs.
In that Saturday win over Boston, Portis led the Bulls in scoring with 17 points, shooting 7-for-12 from the field and 1-for-3 from beyond the three-point line.
Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, however? It was a “Crazy Eyes’’ throwback game.
Portis scored just eight points, while shooting 4-for-12 from the field, so he’s obviously not there yet.
“[Shot selection] was the biggest lesson for me last year,’’ Portis said. “I’ve always been a guy that the ball goes to. For me to be the third, fourth of fifth option, it’s been hard for me. But at the same time, it’s something I have to learn.
“Last year, I kind of rushed on my shots. But as the year progressed, I learned. I watched film on some of my favorite players to see what they do. I’m trying to do the same thing that they do.’’
He won’t have to watch film on at least one of his favorite players. He’ll actually get to see him up close and personal.
When the news broke that the Bulls signed veteran Dwyane Wade, Portis was instantly demoted down to his mother’s second favorite player on the team.
“That’s actually like my mom’s idol, her favorite player,’’ Portis said. “That’s all she talked about when I was growing up as a kid, ‘D-Wade, D-Wade.’ My mom actually texted me when they said he was coming, and she was like going nuts. It was crazy.’’
And if there’s one thing Portis knows it’s crazy.