Jusuf Nurkic is having a breakout season for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Bosnian big man has put up impressive numbers in his second full season in Portland, and he’s been a vital part of their team as coach Terry Stotts has chosen to run the offense through Nurkic at the high post for much of the season.
The Blazers have an important matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, and with the team in LA it was Nurkic’s chance to be on SportsCenter with Oregonian Neil Everett.
During a segment on the popular news show, Nurkic told Everett that Kobe Bryant once swore at him in Bosnian. Bryant was famously über competitive, and so it’s no surprise he learned a couple of Eastern European words to lob at the Bosnian Beast.
He’s shooting the free throws (Kobe), and I’m out there like: “Nobody can even touch him, how is that possible?” Whole night he was shooting free throws.
He actually said a word in my language. I’m I was like, “I didn’t really hear right. He can’t speak my language!”
Then we go back and forward, and he goes again to [shoot] free throws. And he repeats that! It was [a] curse word! I was like, “I’m pretty sure he said that!”
After a couple years in the league, he was preparing himself and he plays against some teams he will try to learn a little bit about every player he plays.
The legend of Kobe Bryant has overtaken his actual on-court play and success. But the stories about how Kobe was a flat out monster when it came to trying to gain a competitive edge all feel pretty spot-on.