After a gruesome injury playing for the Trail Blazers against the Brooklyn Nets a year ago, Rip City still has an undying love for the Bosnian Beast.
The Bosnian Beast was denied his highly anticipated return in mid-March amid league wide health concerns over Covid-19. While this is understandably disappointing for the 25-year old Center, he will be more than ready to go the next time Coach Stotts calls his name.
During the 2018-2019 season, Nurkic posted career highs in both points and rebounds per game. But it was his tenacity that truly won over the Trail Blazers fan base, his big personality and explosive play is undeniable.
When Nurkic came to the team midway through the 2017 season, he addressed a big concern when it came to size. The Blazers lacked a physical front court presence that had once been filled by long time star LaMarcus Aldridge.
As a 22-year old back up in Denver, trading Mason Plumlee for an unproven player had a lot of fans on edge. Looking back on the trade after the fact, he played above and beyond what the team could ask for.
Over 171 games in Portland, Nurkic averaged 15.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg – just shy of a double-double.
The Bosnian native was emotional on Instagram at the one year anniversary of his injury. He addressed his fans with both appreciation and excitement for the future.
“I’m so emotional but can’t believe it’s been a year since my injury. It doesn’t matter how deep you fall what really matters is how you bounce back. In my life I learn to overcome difficulties but everyone has a fate and own destiny. Faith is trusting God even when you don’t understand His plan. Ones again I want to thank everyone. A year ago you guys did something special for me it meant the world to me after all I’m 100% healthy and can’t wait to play basketball again. Until then, stay safe and healthy. Love Nurk.” – Blazers Center Jusuf Nurkic on Instagram.
With many question marks moving forward for the Trail Blazers and the entire league. It is nice to be able to rely on a young high-profile big man.
Nurkic will be paid $12.8 million and an additional $1.25 million in incentives for the 2020-2021 NBA season.
Blazers fans should fully expect him to play above and beyond on a roster that is built for him to succeed.
Although the return of several Trail Blazers is up in the air, including: Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside, Trevor Ariza, Zach Collins, Rodney Hood, Wenyen Gabriel and Mario Hezonja. Jusuf Nurkic is someone that the team can depend on going forward.
With a new return date TBD, Portland is certainly ecstatic for a much-needed Jusuf Nurkic return.