By Stefan Djordjevic/ email@example.com
Last night, Jusuf Nurkic played his first official game since March 2019 and what a comeback it was. The ‘Bosnian Beast’ put on 18 points, nine rebounds, five assists and six blocks to go along with it, having everything covered for the Blazers against the Grizzlies.
“I’m just glad we won the damn game, man. I’ve been preparing for this moment for the last 16 months,” Nurkic said.
What makes all of it even more impressive is the fact that Nurkic’s grandmother in Bosnia contracted coronavirus and is in a coma. The news Nurkic heard on the night of Portland’s first scrimmage and which has been on his mind ever since.
“The last couple of days have been the toughest days of my life. My grandma got COVID and she’s in a coma. I think people don’t realize the s*** is real out there. We’ve been fortunate to be here in a safe environment, we’re tested every day, but please take care of yourself, wear a damn mask if you need to wear it,” he said and added: “She didn’t want to go to the hospital in the first place and finally I said, ‘If you don’t go, I come. I think that kind of made up her mind to go to the hospital. Hopefully, it’s not too late.”
It must have heavily impacted Nurkic but the big man guaranteed his performance will not suffer and he will do his part for the team.
“It’s family, man. Obviously the court is the safest place for me. I’ve been through a lot in my life and it’s not going to change my mindset, it’ll be the same on the floor,” he said. “We’ve got to deal with all that different stuff in our life and still be there. The team is counting on me.”