Updated: Apr 10, 2019
It’s a difficult day for Rip City faithful or any true fan of basketball. With 2:22 left in the game that went into double overtime, Trail Blazers starting center Jusuf Nurkic went up for an offensive rebound. What happened next can be considered catastrophic. As Nurkic came down he landed awkwardly on another players leg and where it went from there has been widely talked about. As all of the NBA world came together to send its thoughts and prayers for the big man known as Beast, a glaring hole now sits at the center position for the Trail Blazers. It’s hard to put into words exactly how to react to something like this. Trail Blazer fans have far too many memories of catastrophic injuries to key players late in the season. A team poised to rewrite the narrative on this “easy out” playoff team now has to come together to try to replace one of the most dominant players on this roster. The late addition of Enes Kanter helps. Damian Lillard’s outstanding play as of late gives us hope and that hope boils over to CJ McCollum’s recovery from a left knee strain in time for a playoff run. We’ve heard many reactions from all kinds of media personalities, fans, and of course teammates of the Bosnian Beast following this injury and I think every single one of them is justified. There isn’t a right way to feel after an injury like this. We pray that Nurkic can make a full recovery and get back to the form he’s been in all season long. Career highs across the board. Not for the betterment of the team, although of course, that’s our connection to him as fans. For him as the human being who has put so much time, work, and commitment to get to this point. Now is a time where we all need to come together, as fans, as teammates, as Rip City. Nurkic has played such a huge role this season. After losing our owner prior to the season, we made this season all for him. Now we need to rise above this as well. Write off the Trail Blazers for the rest of the year if you want to. Or cheer louder than you before to help pick up the pieces left behind by the Bosnian Beast. It was officially announced early into the morning that as expected, Nurkic will miss the remainder of the year. There is no timetable for him to return to basketball-related activities. As a fan, you get so much joy out of rooting for your team every day. Unfortunately, at times, there is heartbreak that goes along with it. I look forward to seeing Jusuf Nurkic back on the court whenever that time comes. I’m confident he will rise above this and be back better than ever. That’s what we do here in Rip City. We Rise.