PORTLAND – Portland Trail Blazers' center Jusuf Nurkic was out on a stretcher after suffering a serious left-lining injury in double overtime against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.
Nurkic jumped for a rebound and fell awkwardly into a tangle of body under the basket. After touching the ground, the net players around him saw the severity of the injury and jumped out.
The arena quickly fell silent as Blazers medical staff rushed to Nurkic. A stretcher was immediately called and with the help of some Blazers – Damian Lillard, Rodney Hood and Al-Farouq Aminu – the 7-foot Bosnian was loaded on.
Portland coach Terry Stotts called the injury "devastating", but did not want to say more about Nurkic's health. He was taken to a local hospital.
This is a fatal blow to the Blazers, who have recently jumped despite a knee injury inflicted on CJ McCollum, who has marginalized him in the past two weeks.
Behind Nurkic, the Blazers have Enes Kanter, signed after being raised by the New York Knicks, and Zach Collins.
Enes Kanter details the emotions felt in the locker room in Portland after the fall of Jusuf Nurkic, wounded in his left leg.
Nurkic, 24, has an average of 15.4 points and 10.3 rebounds in 71 games this season. In Monday's game, a 148-144 victory in Portland to win a playoff spot, he had 32 points and 16 rebounds before leaving.
"It's hard, dude, to see one of your brothers fall like that, I do not know what to say," Kanter said after the match. "But tonight I'm just going home and praying for him, man, because it's much bigger than basketball, we won the playoff game but we can not even celebrate it." .. He was part of our family, not our team, our family. "
Kanter added that the team had observed a minute of silence for Nurkic.
"Nobody can really say anything," he said.