The growing scrum of reporters closed tight around Terry Stotts on Tuesday night as the Trail Blazers coach fielded his first question about the center playing his old team. At that moment, Jusuf Nurkic walked by the huddle mass of cameras and recorders as he made his way to the Moda Center floor to warm up. “Hey, Jusuf, all this is because of you, man,” Stotts said. Jusuf paused and smiled. “Stop it,” he replied.
Nurkic, noticeably slimmer since he left Denver, insisted his focus wasn’t on finding revenge against Denver on Tuesday. Well, almost. “I want to win every game, not just against them,” Nurkic said. “I want to beat them, especially, but it’s nothing emotional right now. Right now we’re winning, and you try to be positive and learn from mistakes. Right now we’re playing great basketball.”
Kersey spent 9 of his 17 NBA seasons in Portland, and continued to work with the Trail Blazers organization after retirement. He died in February 2015 of a pulmonary embolism. He was 52 years old. Donate Life NW said his organs were donated after his passing, which saved the lives of eight children in a burn unit and enhanced the lives of hundreds of others. Kersey’s daughter Kiara tells KATU News Tuesday night’s game is quite special for her.