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#pounditFriday, July 1, 2022

Articles tagged: Jusuf Nurkic

Damian Lillard recruits former NBA MVP to join Blazers

Damian Lillard in a Blazers jersey

Dec 16, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A few members of the Portland Trail Blazers are doing some recruiting via social media.

Portland star Damian Lillard and center Jusuf Nuric both shared an edited photo on their social media accounts aimed at Kevin Durant. The photo showed Durant next to Lillard. The image of Durant was edited to put the former NBA MVP in a Blazers jersey as a teammate of Lillard.

Lillard shared the photo to his Instagram Story:

Nurkic shared the photo to his Twitter account and included a puzzle piece emoji.

Durant is a member of the Brooklyn Nets and signed to a long-term deal with the Eastern Conference team. But there has been talk that KD might want to leave if Kyrie Irving does not return to the Nets. Teams around the NBA reportedly are working on trade offers for the 12-team All-Star.

The Blazers know that Durant could help turn them back into a contender.

Report reveals what fan allegedly said to Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic warming up

Jusuf Nurkic got into a confrontation with an Indiana Pacers fan on Saturday night that resulted in the Portland Trail Blazers star being fined, and we now have a better idea of what led to the incident.

Nurkic was fined $40,000 on Tuesday for grabbing a Pacers fan’s cell phone and tossing it aside following Portland’s blowout loss in Indiana. The video of the altercation (see it here) did not show what happened that made Nurkic so angry. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the fan made derogatory comments about Nurkic’s family.

The fan allegedly shouted “your mom is trash” at Nurkic and called the star center’s grandmother a “b–ch.” Nurkic’s grandmother died from COVID-19 in 2020, which might explain why he reacted the way he did.

It’s unclear if the fan knew Nurkic’s grandmother had died. Either way, the NBA felt the way the Blazers star reacted was not appropriate.

Pacers fans have been in the news a few times this year for interactions with players. LeBron James had some fans in Indiana ejected from a game a few months back.

Photo: Jan 9, 2018; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) warms up prior to action against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Jusuf Nurkic fined by NBA for confrontation with fan

Jusuf Nurkic confronting a fan

Jusuf Nurkic got into a heated confrontation with a fan over the weekend, and the incident has cost the Portland Trail Blazers star some money.

The NBA announced on Tuesday that Nurkic has been fined $40,000 for grabbing a fan’s cell phone and throwing it during Portland’s game against the Pacers in Indiana on Saturday. A statement from the league said the fine is a result of Nurkic “confronting a fan courtside and grabbing the fan’s cell phone and throwing it into the spectator stands.”

Nurkic did not play in the game, as he has been dealing with a foot injury. A video that surfaced after the Blazers’ 129-98 blowout loss showed the big man slowly walk up to a Pacers fan and snatch the fan’s phone. Nurkic got right in the fan’s face and then tossed his phone to the side. You can see the video here.

It’s unclear what angered Nurkic, but it is safe to assume the fan said something to him before the incident.

Pacers fans have been in the news a few times this year for interactions with players. LeBron James had some fans in Indiana ejected from a game a few months back.

Jusuf Nurkic throws fan’s phone in heated courtside incident

Jusuf Nurkic warming up

An Indiana Pacers fan appears to be one iPhone poorer after a heated incident with Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic this weekend.

The Blazers got blown out in Indiana on Sunday by a 129-98 final. Nurkic, who is dealing with a foot injury, did not play but went over to confront a fan sitting courtside after the game was over. Video showed Nurkic, who was in street clothes, slowly walking up to a fan in Pacers gear, snatching the fan’s phone, chucking it to the side, and leaving, all while barely saying a word.

Here is the clip, which was originally posted by Steven Geske on Instagram.

It is unclear if the fan had been heckling the Blazers throughout the contest, but it sure did not seem like Nurkic just confronted him out of the blue. The veteran big man is not somebody you want to mess with either at seven foot and 290 pounds.

The Pacers are extremely lousy this season at 25-47. But it seems that their fans have a way of getting under opposing players’ skins. You may recall that LeBron James had a prominent incident with some fans in Indiana during a game a few months ago.

Photo: Jan 9, 2018; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) warms up prior to action against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Jusuf Nurkic, Tyler Herro fined for recent scrum

Jusuf Nurkic and Tyler Herro get in a fight

Jusuf Nurkic and Tyler Herro were ejected after they got into a physical altercation during Wednesday night’s game, and the NBA has handed down equal punishment for both players.

Nurkic and Herro have been fined $25,000 each, the NBA announced on Friday. Many felt Nurkic should have faced a bigger penalty than Herro since the Portland Trail Blazers star threw a swing. However, the league’s statement noted that Herro “initiated the altercation” after Nurkic knocked him to the court on a basketball play.

You can see the scrum below:

The screen from Nurkic looked clean, which is likely why the NBA felt Herro was equally responsible for the altercation. Had Herro not gotten up and shoved Nurkic, the whole incident would have been avoided.

Nurkic and Herro were both assessed technical fouls and ejected with less than a minute remaining. The Miami Heat defeated Portland 115-109.

Jusuf Nurkic trashes reporter over Ben Simmons criticism

Jusuf Nurkic

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic has made it something of a custom to call out reporters publicly for reports or takes he dislikes — even if they’re about players that aren’t his teammates.

Nurkic did it again on Monday after video emerged of Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons working out during the offseason. In the video, Simmons is seen taking jump shots with his left hand, despite some speculation that he might switch to his right due to ongoing shooting struggles. This was pointed out by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who characterized Simmons’ lack of change as “disappointing news.”

Nurkic took note of this and went after O’Connor for the comment, offering some “disappointing news” of his own.

Nurkic and Simmons obviously aren’t teammates, but it’s worth noting they’re both represented by superagent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports. There have also been some rumors that Nurkic and Simmons could end up as teammates, though that’s a long way off to say the least at this point.

This isn’t the first time this offseason that Nurkic has taken aim at a reporter publicly. He’s certainly committed to sticking up for his fellow players if he feels they’re being characterized wrongly or treated unfairly.

Photo: Frenchieinportland/Wikimedia via CC-by-SA-4.0

Jusuf Nurkic calls out reporter over Damian Lillard trade claim

Jusuf Nurkic

Jusuf Nurkic smells major cap when it comes to the recent reports about his star teammate.

The Portland Trail Blazers big reacted on Friday to the claim by TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott that Damian Lillard plans to request a trade from Portland in the coming days. Nurkic tweeted that the reporter should not be believed because of his name, including some cap emojis for good measure. When Abbott replied back to Nurkic, the seven-footer said that Abbott was “guessing” and questioned the legitimacy of Abbott’s source.

There has been smoke for several weeks now that Lillard may be available. The rumors first stemmed from a report by Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes, who is widely seen as close with Lillard and thus carries some legitimacy.

In any case, Lillard plans to address the reports about his future after Team USA practice on Friday. Nurkic, meanwhile, has said before that he may be next to go if Lillard leaves Portland.

Photo: Frenchieinportland/Wikimedia via CC-by-SA-4.0

Jusuf Nurkic will leave Blazers too if Damian Lillard is traded?

Jusuf Nurkic

Damian Lillard could be starting a major cascading effect within the Portland Trail Blazers.

In an interview this week with Bosnian outlet Klix.ba, Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic indicated that he would leave the team too if Lillard gets traded.

“I don’t know what has changed with Lillard in these two days,” said Nurkic, according a rough translation. “As far as I know, the man stays there. But if he goes, then I leave Portland as well. My opinion is that it would be stupid to let such a loyal man as Lillard go.”

Lillard, a lifelong Blazer since he was drafted by the team in 2012, caused mayhem this weekend with reports that he may seek a trade from Portland.

Nurkic just completed his fourth season with Lillard and the Blazers. He is under contract for $12 million next season (only $4 million of which is guaranteed) and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

Portland’s offseason has already seen plenty of turmoil. Now Lillard’s potential trade request may cast a cloud over the rest of the roster as well.

Photo: Frenchieinportland/Wikimedia via CC-by-SA-4.0

Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic responds to ‘clown’ Kendrick Perkins

Jusuf Nurkic

The Portland Trail Blazers held the Denver Nuggets to just 95 points on Saturday night, which may have come as a shock to Kendrick Perkins. Jusuf Nurkic was more than happy to rub it in Perkins’ face.

After the Nuggets beat Portland in Game 3 on Thursday night, Perkins tweeted that Nurkic and Enes Kanter are the two worst defensive big men in the NBA.

Portland’s win on Saturday tied the series at 2-2. Nurkic had 17 points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal. When speaking with the media after the game, he referenced the “clowns” who called him one of the worst defensive bigs in the year. He then went right at Perkins.

Perkins was known as a solid defender during his NBA career. He was instrumental in helping the Boston Celtics win a championship in 2008, but he makes more headlines with his hot takes as an ESPN analyst than he did while he was playing.

Kanter knows all about having public disagreements with Perkins.

Photo: Frenchieinportland/Wikimedia via CC-by-SA-4.0

Jusuf Nurkic trying to recruit Danilo Gallinari to Portland?

Jusuf Nurkic may be trying to lure one of his old teammates to Portland.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari teased his NBA future in a tweet on Tuesday. Gallinari, a free agent this offseason, tweeted a graphic of himself with the caption, “Where to next?”

Nurkic wasted little time in replying to the tweet, seemingly hinting at an attempt to recruit Gallinari to the Trail Blazers.

“Brate” means “brother” in Nurkic’s native Bosnian.

Nurkic and Gallinari used to be teammates on the Denver Nuggets for three seasons from 2014 to 2017. Portland is also facing uncertainty at the forward position with Carmelo Anthony also a free agent and Rodney Hood holding a player option for next season.

Gallinari, 32, is still a very productive offensive player. He posted 18.7 points on 40.5 percent from deep in under 30 minutes a game for the Thunder last season. But there may be a more appealing reunion out there for Gallinari.