In the latest episode of the Yahoo Sports podcast, senior NBA insider Chris Haynes spoke with Milwaukee Bucks C Bobby Portis about overcoming the perception that people had of him after his fight at Bulls practice with Nikola Mirotić. Hear the full conversation on the Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHRIS HAYNES: BP, I want to-- now that you're a veteran, a great locker room guy, somebody who prides himself on mentoring the young guys, I want to ask you this question. Like, when you went through your thing in Chicago with the incident you had with--
BOBBY PORTIS: Yep.
CHRIS HAYNES: --your teammate, was there anything in your mind that was like, damn, is this going to stay with me my career? Like, what went through your mind? How did you get from there to solid ground now?
BOBBY PORTIS: OK, so when an incident first happened, truth be told, man, it was like, if you was there, then you understood what happened.
CHRIS HAYNES: Mm-hmm.
BOBBY PORTIS: Because obviously, if you're not there, then you can just assume and create any narrative you want to create. Uh, Bobby-- I've seen all type of stuff. I was sucker punched, or I hit him when he wasn't looking, or such and such. But, like, that wasn't our first time going at it like that.
Like, we do it that all the time. We're both competitors. Obviously, we play the same position. And I want to play, and he want to play. It's just what it is. If was in the '90s or '80s, nobody would have cared. But it's the social media world, take it to another level.
And I was just, like, the most hated. Everywhere I went, I heard, like-- I would go out to eat. I would hear people say, oh, yeah, that's such and such that hit such and such. So obviously, I had a bad stigma and bad reputation that kind of stuck with me for a while. Just having good people around me just help change it.
I think the biggest thing that changed my life was the pandemic. Now, obviously, some people will say the pandemic made them lose a lot of money, or a lot of businesses got shut down and such and such. But I got a chance to just go home to Arkansas and be around the people that truly love me and truly care for me.
I got back to peace. And now, I'm at peace in life. So all the things that used to bother me didn't bother me. Sometimes, on the court, just felt like I had something to prove to everybody. Like, they said I can't play, or all type of stuff I was going through. So getting back to that peace, man, was the biggest thing.
CHRIS HAYNES: And that's why I think what you say when you're talking to the young teammates, I think it speaks volumes because you've been through things that most of them probably won't go through when they get that scrutiny--
BOBBY PORTIS: Yeah, bro. Like, I've been through it all, bro.
CHRIS HAYNES: --social media. Yeah, and to be able to come back from that. You know what I mean? So I think that's, like-- you can show, like, look, go through your research, young fella. You know, see--
BOBBY PORTIS: No, for real, though, like--
CHRIS HAYNES: --what I endured, and see what it took for me to get to this place.
BOBBY PORTIS: I had 100,000 mentions, bro. Every time I got on Instagram or Twitter, bro, I had to, like, log out my page, bro. Everybody was talking crazy about me. I was suddenly-- like, I've always been a humble guy that worked hard and pride myself on family. Like, I've been the same guy my whole life.
But then the narrative got crazy. Like, I'm a bad locker room guy. He's a bad locker room guy. He doesn't have respect. And all he gets is technicals on the court.
He can't control his anger. No, I'm just a passionate basketball player that want to win. It's just crazy. When I come to Milwaukee, now, it's like that narrative is just gone.
So when you win in this league and when you do the things the right way and you treat people the right way, when you stay down and just go through the highs and lows that the league is going to bring you-- because you never know what's going to really happen-- man, you got to build out your career. And having good people around you can help you do that if you do it the right way.