Blazers' Jusuf Nurkic Announces His Grandmother Died After COVID-19 Diagnosis

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
Laurence Kesterson/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic announced Saturday his grandmother has died after being hospitalized because of COVID-19 complications in July.

After the Blazers' win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Saturday's play-in game, Nurkic delivered a heartfelt message on Twitter:

Jusuf Nurkić @bosnianbeast27

We did it Grandma 🙏🏻❤️ Promise to fight like you did🤞🏻#RIPGrandma #loveyou #Playoffs #Innalillahiveinnailejhiradžiun #Nensi❤️

The 25-year-old Bosnian previously discussed the situation following a July 31 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

"My grandma got COVID. She’s in a hospital ... in a coma. I think people don’t realize that s--- is real out there. … Please take care of yourself. Wear a damn mask if you need to wear it." —Jusuf Nurkic on COVID-19 https://t.co/W7XpUaI9qJ

Nurkic returned to the Blazers' lineup for the NBA's bubble games at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida. He'd missed the first stage of the season, which was halted March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic, while recovering from a serious leg injury.

He said family matters were more important than basketball but added he wanted to remain with the team as it attempts to earn a postseason berth.

"I know what I mean to this team and I came here to make the playoffs," Nurkic told reporters Aug. 2.

His return and MVP-level play from point guard Damian Lillard have helped the Blazers post a 7-2 record in the bubble.