Udonis Haslem has been around for a few “misunderstandings” between teammates in his 15 years with the Heat.
But he’s never seen anything like what happened Tuesday in Chicago when Bobby Portis (6-11, 230) sent Nikola Mirotic (6-10, 220) to the hospital with two broken bones in his face and a concussion after a vicious punch and dustup at practice.
“Tempers flare, things get heated, but we try to be proactive and get in between before it ever gets to that point,” Haslem said. “People are out here competing. It’s gotten chippy, but never to that point.”
The Bulls on Wednesday suspended Portis for eight games after the punch.
James Johnson, who was drafted by the Chicago Bulls, said there’s no way he could ever see that happening with the Heat.
“That’s their locker room and that’s their culture and what they do. I can’t speak for their team or anything else. I know we resolve things a little bit different over here,” Johnson said.
“We’ve just had regular altercations on the court – I’m right, you’re wrong, you’re wrong, I’m right. We do a great job of receiving and not just listening. We hash it out like professionals and like men. You know it can get chippy out there at practice, it can chippy out there in the games. But war is war and figuring it out in the locker room is a totally different thing.”
Goran Dragic, who won gold with the Slovenian national team in September, said he’s never seen a teammate punch another teammate before whether its in the NBA or the international level.
“I was part of teams in practice where if somebody makes a hard foul those two guys get into [each other's] faces, but not with fists, throwing punches,” Dragic said. “Everybody wants to win, everybody is competitive and some times things will happen. But I was always part of a team that somebody would step in between.”
JJ WEARS ‘UD’ SHIRT
Johnson, 30, was sporting a special Heat ‘Court Culture’ t-shirt of Haslem after shootaround Wednesday.
“That’s my brother. Why not wear it?” Johnson answered when asked why he chose to wear Haslem over other Heat ‘Court Culture’ t-shirts that include Dion Waiters, Alonzo Mourning and Pat Riley.
“That’s somebody I look up to and I follow on how to really lead a team and really be a professional leader on and off the court. That’s somebody that I really admire and look up to. So why not? It’s the same as a kid wearing a Jordan t-shirt, I feel.”