Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic suffered a horror injury less than a month ago, and even though he remains pretty immobile with a super busted leg, he still showed up to support his teammates Tuesday night. Nurkic wasn’t part of the dogpile after Damian Lillard’s heroic game-winner, but he still celebrated on the floor with the rest of the Blazers, and more importantly, joined in on bidding Russell Westbrook and the Thunder adieu.
Late in the fourth quarter, Nurkic popped up on the Blazers’ bench. Portland was down eight when the arena showed his scruffy face, and the team ended up closing out the game on a 13-2 run.
In a postgame interview, Nurkic said he was watching the game from his house in Portland, but once he saw the Thunder rack up a lead in the third quarter, he knew he had to go cheer his team on in person. “By the end of the third quarter, I was like, ‘Fuck it,’” he said. He did all of this while rocking a shirt reading “Got Bricks? Next Question,” a clear diss to Westbrook.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts jokingly credited Nurkic for having a great plus-minus in three minutes, but also said the center’s unexpected arrival had a real effect on the game.
Nurkic must now be on standby for the next round, should the Blazers find themselves in trouble at home and in need of a dramatic re-entrance from the injured but energetic Bosnian.