The Bulls held a pregame walk-through Friday on the court at the United Center, which is a common practice for a team playing the second leg of back-to-back games.
Nikola Mirotic did not participate in the walk-through and the Bulls said later he simply forgot about the session.
The story seemed believable. While the Bulls were on the court, Mirotic walked past reporters into the locker room as if it was a normal pregame.
"I completely forgot, you know," Mirotic said after not playing in Friday's loss. "We had a back-to-back and I forget usually we meet at the arena after a back-to-back. I didn't get the message. I apologized here to teammates, the coach and we move on."
Mirotic insisted his absence at the walk-through had nothing to do with not playing in Thursday's loss at Milwaukee, though he admitted being surprised by the move.
"I'm not that kind of guy," Mirotic said. "Even if things are not how I would like to be, I'm very professional. It's not my first year here. Those guys respect me and I respect them. I forget. Stuff happens.
"It's been difficult (not playing). It's the first time in my career this is happening, but it's a coach's decision, so I've got to respect that."
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Mirotic responded well initially on Friday.
"Niko was in early this morning, he was the first guy in the gym getting in extra work," Hoiberg said before the contest. "I had a good meeting with him. Obviously we don't know the circumstances yet, but I'll talk to him when I'm done with this (interview) session here."
The reason for Mirotic staying on the bench seemed obvious. He's been in a deep shooting slump. In the previous nine games, Mirotic averaged 6.7 points, shot 34.4 percent overall and just 20.6 percent from 3-point range.
MCW gets good report:
Bulls guard Michael Carter-Williams received good news from his most recent doctor's visit and hopes to begin practicing in a few days.
Carter-Williams has been out since suffering left knee and wrist injuries when he fell hard in the Oct. 31 game at Brooklyn. The wrist has taken longer to heal.
"I got my other cast off today, so I think I'm going to do some strengthening exercises and all that this week and try to get back on the court if everything feels right," he said. "(Practicing next week) is what I'm going for. It feel pretty good. Nothing is really guaranteed, but that's what I'm going for."
Carter-Williams has been able to do most every thing, including shoot and run, so he doesn't think it will take long to be ready for game action.
"I've been doing everything with my cast on," he said. "I've been running with (director of sports performance) Chip (Schaefer) a lot just trying to get in shape so when I come back, it won't take me long to get back to playing."
Parker ready for Bulls:
Bucks forward Jabari Parker scored 28 points in Thursday's game and suggested the Bulls should be prepared for his best effort any time they see him. Parker is a Chicago native who attended Simeon Career Academy, the same as Derrick Rose.
"I knew that I wanted to play well just because I played the Bulls," Parker said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I definitely play with another edge. That's the game I circle on my calendar beyond any other game just because I'm a kid from the city. I grew up watching them and that's something in my pride to try my best against the Bulls."
Gibson leaves early:
Bulls forward Taj Gibson left Friday's game early in the third quarter with a hip contusion and did not return.