Blazers’ grandmother Jusuf Nurkic dies of coronavirus


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla .– Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic announced on Instagram on Saturday that his grandmother had died of the coronavirus. The news comes less than two hours before he and the Blazers are ready to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the very first NBA game.

“Each of the best,” Nurkic wrote, in a translation of a caption accompanying a pair of photos of him with his grandmother that he posted. ” [sic] we are all God and we return to him. ”

Nurkic started Saturday afternoon’s game as Portland looks to clinch the eighth seed in the Western Conference and win a meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

He spoke openly about the grief he felt as his grandmother faced the illness while in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World Resort, first revealing to the world that she was ill. after Portland’s loss to Boston on August 2.

“I pray for her,” Nurkic said that day. ” It’s the family. Obviously the court is the safest place for me. I have experienced a lot of things in my life. It won’t change my state of mind. It will be the same when I am on the floor. ”

Portland must win Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon against Memphis to claim the eighth seed in the West. Memphis will need to win both games to qualify for the playoffs.


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