Blazers fans donate to wish 'Bosnian Beast' speedy recovery
Trail Blazers fans generated more than $10,000 in about 36 hours through crowdfunding to send a giant get-well-soon message to injured center Jusuf Nurkic.
Al Nelson of Portland set up a GoFundMe.com page on Tuesday to raise $8,000 for a billboard wishing the "Bosnian Beast" a speedy recovery from the fractured left tibia and fibula Nurkic suffered in Monday night's two-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The gruesome injury required surgery, and Nurkic will miss the rest of the season and the playoffs.
"It's going to be hard on our team," guard Damian Lillard said in a hushed Portland locker room after the game. "Every way you look at it, it's a blow."
Nelson wrote on the GoFundMe page that he wanted the 24-year-old NBA player to feel the love from fans as he recovered. "Our big fella gives his whole heart to Rip City night in night out," Nelson wrote. "We Blazer fans want to show him that same love as he starts the healing process after a devastating injury."
Less than two days later, the campaign had scooped up $10,422 from 467 people, who mostly contributed $5 to $25. A few $50 donations were made.
"I can't tell you how cool it is for all the fans to come together to send love to Jusuf," Nelson wrote.
Nelson said the billboard will be "a public symbol of all the appreciation and love we have for 'Nurk' on and off the court."
It could be near the Rose Quarter, he wrote, and be up for four weeks.
Any leftover money would go to the Blazers Boys & Girls Club in Portland, he wrote.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.