Jusuf Nurkic's Top 5 Moments as a Trail Blazer

NBC Sports Northwest

On the one-year anniversary of Jusuf Nurkic's injury, let's remember the good times.

And man, are there a lot of them.  

It was difficult to choose the top moments of Nurkic's time in Portland, but here are a few of our favorites.

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Historic 5x5 in Sacramento:
On New Year's Day in 2019, Nurkic had a stat line the like of which had never been seen. 

The Blazers were on the road in Sacramento and the Kings had no choice but to hand their crown to Nurkic by night's end. 

Sacramento had no answer for Nurkic on this night. Points. Rebounds. Assists. Steals. Blocks. Nurkic did it all, literally. 

By the end of the night, Nurkic had recorded the rare 5x5. Only a select few to ever play the game have achieved the feat, and no one had done it like the Bosnian Beast. 

Nurkic became the first player in NBA history to record a 5x5 with at least 20 points AND 20 rebounds. 

His final stat line: 24pts, 23rbs, 7asts, 5blks, and 5stls

The feat was so rare, Nurkic didn't even know what a 5x5 was, or so he said. 


First game against his former team:
March 28th, 2017, was a date Jusuf Nurkic had long marked on his calendar. It was the first time as a member of the Blazers that he would play his former team, the Denver Nuggets. Denver had traded Nurkic to Portland just over a month earlier, and with it, Nurk Fever was born in Rip City.

With Denver in town, Nurkic looked to make a statement. Boy did he ever.

Nurkic made it a point to go right at Nikola Jokic all night. The Joker couldn't stop the Bosnian Beast, and Nurkic took advantage en route to a career night. He recorded a double-double, anchored by a career-high 33 points.

As for Mason Plumlee, the player he was traded for, the former Blazers center had zero points and a single rebound.Nurkic's performance earned him the postgame interview with Brooke Olzendam where he famously said of his former team, "I wish those guys a happy summer."



Came in through the back door:

During last season's playoff run Jusuf Nurkic had to watch from home. He was still recovering from his broken leg and hadn't been seen at Moda in weeks. That all changed in Game 5 against the Thunder.

Portland has a 3-1 lead over OKC and Nurkic wanted to be on hand to watch his team advance. Tired of watching the game from home, Nurkic got in his car and found his way into Moda Center. 

He snuck in and it took a minute or two before fans realized he was sitting on the bench. When they did, Moda Center exploded. 

Said Nurkic after the game, "By the end of the third quarter, I was like f*** it, excuse my French, I'm gonna go out there and show up and I knew if I showed up, we were going to win this game. I had zero doubt."

He was right, as the "Bad Shot" sent OKC packing.

Debut against Utah

And, how about Nurkic's debut as a Trail Blazers back on Feb. 15, 2017!?

The Bosnian Beast made his debut in Salt Lake City after being traded from Denver on Jan. 29. The Nuggets sent Nurkic and a 2017 first-round pick for Mason Plumlee, along with a 2018 second-round pick and cash considerations.

Before the game tipped off in Utah, Nurk said he wanted to be himself and "just be aggressive and make the right play, and don't overthink."

He did just that.

Nurkic scored 13 points after going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field. He also pulled down seven rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.

Nurkic was a giant presence in the middle. A true big man that the Blazers hadn't had in years. Plumlee is 6'11"., 238lbs, while Nurkic is 7'0", nearly 300lbs.

That's a big difference. 

Nurkic played 20 games for the Blazers before an injury sidelined him late, but the Blazers went 14-6 in the stretch. 

Seven games after making his Blazer debut, Nurkic put up a 28 point, 20 rebound double-double. 

Portland knew they had something special, and Nurk Fever was born. 

What about those Fits

Now we can't have a list of the best Jusuf Nurkic moments without talking about his fashion sense!

Since Nurk's injury a year ago, the Trail Blazers big man has showed off his style while watching his team from the bench.

Here's a look back at some of our favorites: 

Now we can't wait for more Nurk memories to come! 

Jusuf Nurkic's Top 5 Moments as a Trail Blazer originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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