Jusuf Nurkic Rumors

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#27
Jusuf Nurkic
Jusuf Nurkic
Position: C
Born: 08/23/94
Height: 6-11 / 2.11
Weight:220 lbs. / 99.8 kg.
Salary: $11,111,111
“A funny story was, he’s shooting the free throws, Kobe, and I’m out there like, ‘Nobody even can touch him, how is that possible,’ all night he was in free throws,” Nurkic said. “He actually says a word in my language and I was like, ‘I didn’t hear right, he can’t speak my language, right?’ So we go back and forth, and he goes again to free throws and he repeats that. It was curse word, but it’s like … I’m pretty sure he said that. Then I was, you know, after a couple years in the league, he was, like, preparing himself when he plays against some teams, he will try to learn a little bit about every player he’ll play.”
1 week ago via Uproxx
AS: A lot of people expected this Blazers team to fade away after last year’s playoffs. Did that change the way you guys approached this season? Jusuf Nurkic: I don’t think so, man. Since I’ve been here, each year before the season, everybody was ready to watch us fade away. So it doesn’t surprise me that people were thinking that way. And there was some kind of motivation because we got swept last year. That definitely stayed with us. But we’ve worked to get another chance and show we’re better than that. It’s been a long season and there’s still some games left, but we’ve prepared ourselves for what’s coming next.
AS: As things were up in the air after the playoffs and over the summer, how often were you and your teammates talking about what was still possible together? Jusuf Nurkic: During the season, there’s not much time to talk about stuff like that. But in the summer there was a lot of speculation about coach and the team, and what’s going to happen. We didn’t know. And there were just a lot of things that went into the summer. We watched Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier walk away in free agency. You heard other teams start to say, “Oh, well the Blazers might tank” and stuff like that. I think we knew deep down—me and Dame and C.J., Mo [Harkless], and Chief [Al-Farouq Aminu]—I think we knew that if we stayed healthy, we could still be dangerous. We could do some damage. There was a lot of stuff going on, but Dame was like, “If we’re healthy, we’re good.” And at the end of the day, we’ve really improved the roster.
AS: Right. Over the past few weeks you guys added Rodney Hood and then Enes Kanter. What did you think of the deadline moves? Jusuf Nurkic: We have some guys who can really score the ball. Rodney showed us the last couple games. We’re in a really good spot. And it’s not just that [Hood and Kater] are great players, but they really fit well with us and the system we have. Rodney, what surprised me, he can really pass the ball too. Obviously he’s a scorer, and coming from Cleveland, they didn’t win that many games. But coming here he was like I want to do whatever I can to win. That doesn’t happen with a lot of guys, and obviously he’s a free agent next summer. He’s really showing us a belief in our band.