Chicago Bulls power forward Bobby Portis accused Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant of purposely trying to injure him when the teams met on Friday.
Portis - who admittedly doesn't have that great of a reputation, given his 2017 fight with former teammate Nikola Mirotic during practice - hurt his elbow during Friday's clash with the reigning NBA champions after setting a screen that prompted Durant to yank his arm as he tried to get around it.
The player has since declared that Durant's actions weren't inadvertent and would have been called by the official if things had gone other way around.
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“Yeah, that wasn’t inadvertent,” he said, via the Chicago Tribune. “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.
"Obviously, everything is officiated differently towards me. 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.
“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.”
Both players received technicals after jawing at each other.
“I asked him: ‘You got a problem or what?’ ” Portis said.
And asked if the Warriors forward apologized, he replied: “Ain’t no apologies in basketball. Nobody feels sorry for nobody. That’s how it goes.”
What This Means
Make what you will of the video, but there's no way of knowing if Durant actually intended to hurt Portis. The former Thunder star doesn't exactly have a reputation for hurting other players or being violent so it's really hard to say.
Portis is right about one thing, though, his own reputation isn't doing him any favors. And he can't really blame anyone for viewing him through different lenses.