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I don’t want to like Bobby Portis...but I do

My struggles with players who have a history of violence

Milwaukee Bucks v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

I have been working my way through the Spurs game against the Buck (still!). One thing I noticed through my second attempt at watching was that I really like Bobby Portis. He’s a solid player, and a fan favorite. I remember watching him shine during the Bucks 2021 Finals run.

But I don’t want to like Bobby Portis.

I have a thing against dirty players. And a few years back, he punched one of his teammates and fractured his jaw. To me, that is an individual I can’t get behind.

I’m not good with forgiveness. It’s an obstacle in my growth as a human being. If I feel I have been wronged in a situation, I very rarely come back around to liking the individual who (I believe) caused the incident.

When it comes to basketball, I take it to a fan-level hatred. Case in point- Zaza Pachulia.

I mean, if the Spurs head coach gets this upset...

...then it doesn’t take much for a fan of my dedication to never forgive Zaza for being a dirty player.

And if I don’t know much else about that player, then that is how I associate him.

Another good example is Marcus Smart.

Marcus Smart is a great player, a fan favorite during his time in Boston, a “heart and soul” type guy who brought energy and could turn momentum in game when the big names guys were gassed.

But Spurs fans will be able to guess how I best know Marcus Smart.

On March 20, 2015, Smart swung and punched Matt Bonner in the groin. He was assessed a Flagrant II and ejected from the game. It took me a while to warm up to him and even root for the Celtics during the 2022 NBA Finals. Okay, that may have had more to do with Derrick White than Marcus Smart.

It even took me longer to not think of Danny Ainge as strictly a dirty player for biting Tree Rollins back in 1983.

I remember being nine-years-old and staying up to watch this game with my dad. Without a real understanding or interest in the game, but fascinated by the physicality of the players and the intensity of the game, when the fight broke out, I was mesmerized.

Here’s what plagues me to this day - I swore Danny Ainge bit Tree Rollins. But in fact, it was the other way around.

Apparently, I am not the only fan to make that mistake.

So when I looked up the Bobby Portis fight with Nikola Mirotic, I could have sworn it was unprovoked and Portis was just a straight up dirty player.

Apparently, Mirotic had engaged on Portis and Bobby was defending himself.

Perhaps instead of a forgive-and-forget conundrum I am in the midst of a none-of-my-business situation.

So I guess I am a fan of Bobby Portis.


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