Jusuf Nurkic

Michael Jordan and Jusuf Nurkic share something unique in common

Michael Jordan and Jusuf Nurkic share something unique in common

Five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway revealed a secret about Michal Jordan on the debut episode of ‘Sports Uncovered.’

“The reason why I’m smiling, I might get in trouble for this,” Hardaway said on the NBC Sports podcast. “[MJ] and Rod Higgins are really, really good friends. He came and practiced with us two or three times and we knew he was coming back then.”

Yep, the cat is out of the bag about a few secret practices.

Before Michael Jordan returned to the Bulls from his first retirement in the spring of 1995, he was a Golden State Warrior for two days.

In NBC Sports’ 'Sports Uncovered' podcast, members of the 1994-95 Golden State Warriors team detailed for the first time that Jordan dominated Dubs practices weeks before rejoining the Bulls 25 years ago.

‘Sports Uncovered’ is a six-part series that explores memorable sports events and figures in deeper and different ways through in-depth storytelling and high-profile interviews. Each NBC Sports regional network has developed and produced one episode.

Thursday’s debut podcast centers around Michael Jordan’s first NBA comeback announcement, called 'I’m Back'.

Jordan's connection to the Warriors before his return struck a chord in Portland. It is reminiscent of what the Trail Blazers are going through right now and it centers around big man Jusuf Nurkic.

Nurkic has been sidelined since March 2019 with an ankle injury and rehabbing it ever since. He was close to making his return days after the NBA shutdown. 

So, what do Jordan and Nurkic have in common? 

The Warriors. 

"Michael was a Warrior for 48 hours,” NBA forward and Jordan’s good friend Rod Higgins said. "MJ really wanted to play against Hardaway and [Latrell] Sprewell, because Sprewell was ‘the new it’, so to speak, in terms of the two-guard.”

Nurkic was a member of Warriors for an afternoon. Albeit, the Santa Cruz Warriors, but in a Warriors jersey, nonetheless. 

 

[RELATED: Trail Blazers fans not happy seeing Jusuf Nurkic in a Santa Cruz Warriors practice jersey]

With the Trail Blazers being so injury-depleted in early March, there aren’t enough healthy bodies for a full scrimmage.

And a full scrimmage is what Nurkic needed as the final step in rehabbing his left leg.

Thus, the Trail Blazers turned to Golden State’s G-League team, the Santa Cruz Warriors for assistance since the Blazers do not have their own G-League team.

Mar. 11, Nurk flew down to Santa Cruz with Trail Blazers assistant coach Jannero Pargo.

“I’m going to go to the G-League practice on the 11th. That’s my last stop before I [play] finally here,” Nurk said after practicing in Portland two days prior.

The evening following Nurk’s practice with the G-League squad, the NBA was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mar. 15 against the Houston Rockets was scheduled to be his targeted return game, which would’ve been 10 days short of the one-year mark when Nurkic went down. It was on Mar. 25, 2019 when he suffered compound fractures to his left tibia and fibula late in the game against the Brooklyn Nets.

When Nurkic tweeted out a picture of him wearing blue and yellow in a Santa Cruz Warriors practice jersey, Rip City was not having it.

So really, it’s probably best that Chicago Bulls fans never found out until today that MJ was practicing with the Warriors. It was hard enough seeing him in a Wizards jersey, wasn't it?

Sports Uncovered, the newest podcast from NBC Sports, will shine a fresh light on the most unforgettable moments in sports. Listen to the full episode of “I’m Back,” which reveals never-before-heard stories about the two-word fax from Michael Jordan that changed the course of NBA history.

Subscribe to Sports Uncovered for free wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Jusuf Nurkic vs. Arvydas Sabonis: The comparison

Jusuf Nurkic vs. Arvydas Sabonis: The comparison

While reliving a handful of fairly recent Trail Blazers games on NBCSNW, it has been fun to watch Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum work their usual magic against opponents.

On Friday night, though, it was all about the Bosnian Beast in Portland’s overtime win over the Kings on New Year’s Day in 2019.  

Watching Jusuf Nurkic’s historic 5x5 game again proved how easily Nurk can do a little bit of everything, or in this particular case, a lot of everything.

During the rehab of his broken left leg this past year, Nurkic mentioned that he was ready to come back as the “Double Beast.”  

Is it possible that in the process of becoming a Double Beast, this Trail Blazers center of the present could become even more like a Trail Blazers center of the past?

We’ve seen flashes of his consistency on the offensive end and his passing ability that could just give Trail Blazers fans flashbacks of Arvydas Sabonis.

 

The Trail Blazers center from 1995-2001 (and again in 2003) was a big man that was well ahead of his time, that’s for sure. 

Sabonis had three more inches on Nurk, and when he finally made his way to Portland he wasn’t as mobile as the Bosnian center, but the two have many similarities.

Nurkic is in his sixth season in the league and at just 25 years old, there’s real reason to believe he could become that no-look ‘how did he do that’ type of passer that Sabas was.

Nurkic has adapted well to the modern NBA, and he’s shown the ability to hit outside shots on occasion much like the Lithuanian Legend did throughout his career.

The two bigs also have the versatility and patience that any team would love to have in their anchor down low.

Sabonis was often a force to deal with under the rim. Even with his lack of mobility, he wasn’t a liability defensively, especially when it came time to guard some of the punishing bigs that came his way.  Just ask Shaquille O’Neal.

With Nurkic being an alert rim protector, it will be interesting to see if his mobility returns to where it was before being forced to miss over a year with a major injury.

It’s often said that players from different eras should not be compared.  Granted, Sabas was not in Portland in his prime, and we are just about to witness Nurk’s peak years, but given their remarkably similar skills, size and statistics, it’s a comparison that’s hard to ignore. 

Just look at their numbers:

Nurkic in 310 career games has averaged 11.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

Sabonis averaged 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in 470 career games.

And for what it’s worth, in eight games played against each other, Nurkic has won six head-to-head matchups against Aryvdas’ son Domantas.

Portland fans can probably all agree that Jusuf Nurkic continuing to evolve his Sabonis skill set would be a very good thing for the future of the Trail Blazers.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

How to watch: Jusuf Nurkic's 5x5 vs. Sacramento Kings

2019_nurk_vs_kings.jpg
Trail Blazers

How to watch: Jusuf Nurkic's 5x5 vs. Sacramento Kings

What a way to start the New Year!!!

As the Trail Blazers rang in 2019 in Sacramento, Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic had what Coach Terry Stotts thought was “probably his best game as a Blazer” up to that point.

Yeah, it was pretty epic, not to mention historic. 

Portland beat Sacramento 113-108 in overtime behind Nurkic's 24 points and a career-high 23 rebounds.

But that wasn’t all.

He annihilated the Kings.

In just over 37 minutes of action, Nurk made 5-of-10 shots from the field, 14-of-16 from the foul line, scoring 24 points, while hauling in his 23 rebounds, along with 7 assists, 5 steals and 5 blocks.

 

After the win, the media had to explain to the Trail Blazers starting center that in the NBA, that’s called a five by five (5x5) – with at least five in five different categories.

When asked if he had ever heard of a 5x5 prior to getting one, Nurkic looked blankly at the reporter.

“Did I know what?” he said. “What? 

After hearing the full explanation, Nurkic smiled saying, “Really? Biggest one ever? I couldn’t believe it. Without my team I couldn’t do that. They help me out and I help them out. I’m just glad we win. With like three minutes to go we’re down 10 [actually it was 9], so we put ourselves in bad position, but we come back and win the game.”

Such a game is very rare.

Anthony Davis is the only other NBA player to have earned one in the 2019 season.

Nic Batum is the only other Trail Blazer to have ever recorded one.

Nurkic’s 5x5 is also the best one of all-time. Nobody has had a five by five with at least 20 points AND 20 rebounds.

The 7-footer had been on a tear, averaging 21.5 points and 13 rebounds in his previous four games.

“Nurk’s been on a roll,” Coach Terry Stotts said postgame. “The last four games he’s been a really effective player inside -- scoring, passing, rebounding. Tonight might be the best game he’s played as a Blazer. He did a little bit of everything.”

Damian Lillard added that Nurk was “making the game easier for everybody when he plays that way.”

The Nurk 5x5 game was also a flu-type game for Lillard, who woke up that morning not feeling a hundred percent.

It wasn't necessarily a Michael Jordan flu game, but Lillard finished with 25 points and five of those were scored in overtime as Portland rallied back after blowing a 14-point halftime lead.

It was also a good night for Seth Curry as well. The backup guard had a season-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting.  

Let’s be honest though, Nurkic was the difference-maker that night.

Sacramento had no answer for Nurk in the middle. Willie Cauley-Stein struggled to defend him, particularly early on.  

And, do you know how many fantasy points Nurkic cashed in for his fantasy owners?

Some big time fantasy points…

That’s what a 5x5 will get you!

Starters for Jusuf Nurkic’s 5x5 performance on Jan. 1, 2019 

SACRAMENTO

Willie Cauley-Stein

Nemanja Bjelica

De’Aaron Fox

Ian Shumpert

Buddy Hield

PORTLAND

Al-Farouq Aminu

Jusuf Nurkic

Damian Lillard

Maurice Harkless

CJ McCollum

HOW TO WATCH: Jan. 1, 2019, Trail Blazers at Kings

WHEN: Friday, May 15 at 8:00pm 

Channel: NBC Sports Northwest, Channel 737 (Portland), 617 (Seattle)

CHANNEL FINDER

Stream the game here.  

Or stream the game on your phone with the 'MyTeams' App -- available in the App Store for iPhones and on Google play.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon along with special guest former Portland Trail Blazer Steve Blake.

Happy Jusuf Nurkic Appreciation Day!

Happy Jusuf Nurkic Appreciation Day!

It seems as if ‘Nurk Fever’ was a million years ago.  

Now as we wait for the NBA to make a decision on the 2019-20 season, all of Rip City is eagerly waiting for the return of a healthy Jusuf Nurkic.  

The Trail Blazers center was set to make his triumphant return on Sunday, Mar. 15 against the Houston Rockets.

And then the pandemic hit.

Thus, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 has now been dubbed Jusuf Nurkic Appreciation Day.

The one and only Bosnian Beast for #NurkWednesday !!!!!

Posted by NBC Sports Northwest on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

You also have a couple of different Jusuf Nurkic Wallpapers to choose from for your phone.

Maybe one for your lock screen and one for your home screen?

Just an idea.

Of course, Nurkic Appreciation Day had to fall on a Wednesday.

"Nurk Wednesday’s" all started when the Bosnian Beast tweeted during training camp this year, various pictures of his rehab process, while using the hashtag, #NurkWednesday. 

And the rest is history.

But really, once the Trail Blazers said let’s make ‘this a thing,’ it stuck…

Here are just a handful of our favorite #NurkWednesday posts:

Now, as the anticipation of Nurk’s return, as well as the return of the NBA continues to grow, the 7-footer says he is in favor of a play-in tournament for the playoffs if the league decides to go that route with resuming this season.

One thing is certain:

We are all eagerly waiting for the Wednesdays when you are back out on the floor, big fella!  

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon along with special guest former Portland Trail Blazer Steve Blake.

Rodney Hood looking strong just five months after suffering torn Achilles tendon

Rodney Hood looking strong just five months after suffering torn Achilles tendon

It's been just over five months since the Trail Blazers announced starting small forward Rodney Hood had suffered a torn left Achilles tendon during the Blazers-Lakers game in early December. 

Fast-forward to present day and Hood is posting about his progress.

The Trail Blazers veteran wing shared a video of his rehabilitation session on his Instagram.

Hoodie is looking good!  

The injury came in the first quarter of the Dec. 6 home game when Hood grabbed a defensive rebound and then planted his left foot and immediately fell to the floor. 

Dec. 11, the Trail Blazers announced Hood had undergone successful surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon.

Hood, along with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins had been allowed in the team’s practice facility during their rehab even when the league had shut down all facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since Friday, all players, who are still currently living in the Portland area, have been permitted to use the Trail Blazers' facility for individual workouts.

Hood has described his rehab process as “coming along nicely,” but admitted the first few days after surgery were very trying.

During the NBA hiatus, Hood explained that his road to recovery has seemed quick, but at the same time it has also seemed extremely longer than just the few months of rehab.

I’ve been making a lot of progress even with everything going on. I feel great. I feel great in the spot that I’m in. I just passed, I think, four months post surgery, so I’m moving along well…. I’m jumping a little bit in the pool, moving around a little bit, so I’m getting there. I’m working myself to being weight-bearing to where I can do more explosive things, but I’m moving along fine, trying to be patient with it, but it’s been good so far…

The process has been so long. I looked up and it’s only been four months. It’s like time is going by really, really slow, but fast at the same time. -- Rodney Hood said on April 14th  

Hood also mentioned that he is thankful for the support from his teammates, especially Jusuf Nurkic.

Nurk shared his encouragement for Hood on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this week, the Bosnian Beast had posted a photo of him putting in work in the weight room with the Trail Blazers training staff wearing protective masks, saying, “Life can always change, you have to adjust.”

As the injured Trail Blazers continue to rehab and the healthy players continue to adjust during this pandemic, one thing hasn’t changed:

The support from teammates on this current Trail Blazers squad is always there.

It's nice to see that team connection. 

It's even better to see Hood getting up and down on the half exercise ball. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Fry and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon along with special guest former Portland Trail Blazer Steve Blake.

Jusuf Nurkic, Rip City react to Trail Blazers win in last regular season game at Oracle Arena

Jusuf Nurkic, Rip City react to Trail Blazers win in last regular season game at Oracle Arena

Oh, what used-to-be…

Thursday’s Trail Blazers Classic Game on NBCSNW brought about many emotions.

The game was played just over 16 months ago and yet it was a contest in which a healthy Jusuf Nurkic, a healthy Kevin Durant (in a Warriors jersey), a healthy Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry were all getting up and down the court with their usual success. 

To be exact, this Trail Blazers and Warriors regular season finale at Oracle Arena was 497 days ago.

It was a memorable one, with Damian Lillard hitting a go-ahead three-pointer in overtime, after not connecting from deep as regulation was winding down. The Trail Blazers defeated the Warriors, 110-109 on Dec. 27, 2018. 

Lillard went 7-for-20 from the field in front of his friends and family in what could’ve been his last game at Oracle, had the Blazers not met the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals last year. The Trail Blazers All-Star finished with 21 points and five assists.

Blazers fans rejoiced in watching the play of Jusuf Nurkic once again.

With Nurkic’s return to action put on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fans were happy to see the big fella out on the court again.

Nurkic finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds. CJ McCollum added 24 points.

The Warriors didn’t have an answer for the Trail Blazers 7-footer. The spin move, the passing, his aggressive nature attacking the rim -- whatever Nurkic threw at Golden State they struggled to defend it. 

The Bosnian Beast watched the re-air of the game on NBCSNW in somewhat disbelief using a mind blown emoji.

As for that strong connection between Lillard and Nurkic, Nurk guaranteed that the Trail Blazers all-important two-man game isn’t going to change.  

Nurkic’s impending return before the NBA suspension brought about a lot of optimism as did watching this game and remembering Nurkic's attack mentality on both ends.

The big fella hasn’t played since Mar. 25, 2019 when he went down against the Brooklyn Nets. The game went to overtime. With just 2:22 remaining in OT, Nurkic came crashing down. He was lying on the baseline holding his left leg, while Nets players ran the other way not wanting to look at the gruesome injury.   

Now with Nurkic tweeting about this instant classic game, fans are eager for what could be if the 2019-20 season does resume later this summer.

Could there be that proposed play-in tournament?

Fans like the idea of watching Lillard and Nurkic work together again in such a tourney.

https://twitter.com/Opher0010/status/1258583686485700608

By the way, Nurkic’s play isn’t the only thing that’s strong.

His Twitter game is pretty strong too.

 

Maurice Harkless still showing love to Damian Lillard and Trail Blazers fans

Maurice Harkless still showing love to Damian Lillard and Trail Blazers fans

Now, almost two months into the NBA hiatus, players are still doing their part to stay in shape and stay connected with fans.

Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless started an Instagram Q & A session Sunday night that rolled over into Monday afternoon.

Harkless fielded the typical questions of ‘Burgers or Pizza,’ which the New York native answered with a Pizza GIF.

And then sticking with his East Coast roots, Harkless chose Shake Shack over In-N-Out, adding, “In-N-Out is weak.”

While there was plenty to chew on with the food questions, Harkless’ Q & A session was dominated by Portland Trail Blazers talk.

The soon-to-be 27-year-old had found a home in Portland after being traded from the Orlando Magic in July of 2015 where he spent his first few seasons. His time in Orlando was very up and down.

But as Rip City knows, he fit the system in Portland and loved his time playing alongside Damian Lillard.

Now in his eighth year in the league and having played for four different teams, the current New York Knick is praising his former teammate.

When asked, ‘who was the best shooter you’ve played with?’

Harkless had two answers and one of them was the Trail Blazers five-time All-Star point guard.

In his four seasons with the Trail Blazers, Harkless averaged 7.8 points and 3.3 rebounds before he was traded to the Clippers last summer.

During his recent Q & A, Harkless shared his favorite things about his time in Portland and shared how much he loved being a Portland Trail Blazer.

And then there’s the friendship between Harkless and former Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu.

Harkless and Aminu would often be two of the last players still getting up shots following practices in Portland.

Their friendship was obvious. Harkless didn’t deny a ‘bro-mance’ between the two.

As for putting together a starting five that includes himself and four former teammates, Harkless decided he would want to play alongside, Lillard, Tobias Harris, Victor Oladipo, and then it would be a toss-up between the Bosnian Beast, Jusuf Nurkic and Plum-Dog Millionaire, Mason Plumlee.  

Even though Harkless wouldn’t come out and say that he misses Portland, he did answer Anfernee Simons when Ant asked a very valid question.

(When other players ask questions that might be the best part of NBA players’ Q & A sessions).

And then there was talk of the playoffs.

Harkless reminisced about how much he enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd at Moda Center.

He even dubbed Moda as one of the most rocking postseason-atmospheres.

As for Harkless’ favorite game he has ever played in whether that was in high school, at St. Johns, or in the NBA, Harkless didn’t hesitate:

“Definitely game 3 vs. Denver last year, 4OT is hard to forget.”

That was a Trail Blazers’ instant classic.

In that May 3, 2019 Game 3 in Portland, Harkless came up big down the stretch and in the multiple overtimes, to finish with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the Blazers’ 140-137 victory.  

Terry Stotts eager to get Jusuf Nurkic & Zach Collins back to anchor defense

Terry Stotts eager to get Jusuf Nurkic & Zach Collins back to anchor defense

Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts has been reviewing a lot of game film from this season during his extended free time.

On this week’s Trail Blazers Courtside, Stotts gave as much of an update on his two injured big men as he could without having physically seen them in their continued rehab process.

For Jusuf Nurkic, who has now hit the one-year mark since his gruesome left leg injury, Stotts feels confident he will be back to nearly full strength when and if the season resumes later this summer. As for Zach Collins, it has been more than five months since he had surgery to repair his left labrum.

“Nurk was scheduled to come back, so I would anticipate that he would be able to come back with very few limitations, if any." Stotts said. "Zach is another story. I really can’t comment, but I think, optimistically we would’ve gotten him back for the playoffs and April 15th was the last day of our season, so optimistically he would’ve been back today and preparing for the playoffs. I can’t say that it is the case, but that was the hope for him after his surgery."

Stotts has had plenty of time to review film and reflect on the 2019-20 season during this NBA hiatus. He is certainly eager to get his defensive anchors back in the rotation.

When you add two guys like Zach and Nurk and what they can contribute at the defensive end, and let’s face it, that’s where our struggles were this year. I know everybody likes to talk about offense and passing, and [when] they’re analyzing players -- they always analyze their offense first, but the reality is that our defense wasn’t very good, our defensive rebounding wasn’t very good, our pick and roll defense was average at best. So, there was a lot of room to grow defensively and when you add two experienced defensive players you would think that we would be better at the defensive end. -- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts on the team’s defense   

Yes, there is plenty of room for improvement. The Trail Blazers ranked 27th in defensive rating this season (113.6) and gave up an average of 115.2 points per game, ranking them 26th in the league.

Stotts says there have been plenty of conversations with his coaching staff on how their defensive schemes may look a little different with Nurk at the five and having Collins at the four, with Collins able to defend on the perimeter as well.

The Blazers coaching staff has been focusing on the dynamic of Nurk and Collins playing alongside each other. 

“If we’re playing two seven footers together, can we be more aggressive on the ball and know that we have more help behind us, can we maybe switch more knowing that if we do get beat off the dribble that there’s somebody behind us to help? The challenge is when; if one of them is guarding a three-point-shooter in the corner how much do we help out of the corner. You remember the game at Phoenix where Aron Baynes hit some shots, so do we concede maybe a few threes and protect the paint, protect the rim a little bit better since that’s our defensive strength? So, we’ve talked about how we can be better defensively,” Stotts said.

There are many questions being thrown out as Stotts and his staff prepare for the return of the Bosnian Beast and Big Z.  

One thing that is never in question is how much Collins prides himself on defense. Last summer, he discussed how much he was looking forward to taking on the starting power forward role. He was also eager to show people what he had learned in his first two seasons: still being the aggressive Zach Collins that Trail Blazers fans have become accustomed to, but also now being able to stay out of foul trouble.

With Collins’ sneaky athleticism, he said last summer, he actually had officials apologizing and admitting they, at times, had wrongfully called a foul.

“There were a couple of plays where I’d block a shot and the ref would come up to me and apologize to me and say, ‘Well, you were so far away from the play, we didn’t think that you’d be able to get there, so it was a foul’.” Collins went on to say, “Which I understand… I don’t think it’s like a respect thing, but hopefully they’ll know me better and they’ll know that maybe I could get there this time.”

After suffering that left shoulder injury in just the third game of the 2019-20 season, Stotts isn’t the only one anxious to see what Collins can do at the four spot. Stotts, Collins, and Nurk, undoubtedly, are all extremely eager for the NBA suspension to end as soon as possible. 

Jusuf Nurkic thought he was going to Chicago before trade

Jusuf Nurkic thought he was going to Chicago before trade

During the 2014 NBA Draft, Jusuf Nurkic waited patiently for his name to be called.

When the Bosnian center got drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 16th overall pick, it made sense to him. He had received a visit from the Bulls' Director of International Scouting, Ivica Dukan, just before the draft, as revealed on his Twitter.

Nurkic also loved that the Bulls drafted his "bro," Gary Harris.

However, what Nurkic didn't know at the time was that the Bulls had traded the 16th and 19th overall picks to Denver to move up to No. 11 and take Doug McDermott out of Creighton. That trade ended up being a steal for the Nuggets, who recently signed Harris to a four-year, $84 million extension as the team's starting shooting guard.

Nurk would later be traded from Denver to Portland in 2017 along with a first-round pick in exchange for Mason Plumlee. The stellar play of Bosnian Beast inside turned the Blazers season around, allowing them to beat out Denver for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference that season. Nurkic would continue to get better, ultimately inking a four-year, $48 million extension that looks like a bargain now. McDermott, on the other hand, didn't finish his rookie contract in Chicago. 

Had Chicago made the correct move on draft day and kept the pair of Nurkic and Harris together, who knows how the center's career could have turned out. But those in Rip City are thankful it's gone the way it has. Nurkic belongs in Portland. 

Jusuf Nurkic wonders if NASA could help the NBA resume on Mars

Jusuf Nurkic wonders if NASA could help the NBA resume on Mars

The NBA has been working diligently to come up with various scenarios for a possible return of the 2019-20 season.

It was on Mar. 18 when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver laid out three scenarios in which he believed the NBA could return.

“I’d say I’m looking at three different things here:

One is -- Of course, when can we restart and operate, as we’ve known -- 19,000 fans in buildings, that’s one set of criteria.

Then option two is – Should we consider starting without fans and what would that mean? Because presumably if you had a group of players and staff around them and you could test them and you could follow some protocol, doctors, health officials may say it’s safe to play…

And then, the third option that we are looking at now, and I would say all suggestions are welcome, is that… Are there conditions in which a group of players could compete and maybe it’s for a giant fundraiser or just for the good of the people?” –Silver told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols

Yet, there is one suggestion we are betting the NBA hasn't thought of yet.

Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic is looking to outer space to solve some problems here on Earth.  

Using the hashtag ‘Ask NASA,’ Nurkic tweeted at NASA looking for some help.

“I just wonder can NASA help us organize to resume NBA somewhere in universe? Mars? Jupiter?”

Three things about this:

1. Nurk REALLY wants the NBA back

2. He is REALLY thinking outside the box

3. This was a REALLY put a smile on our faces

Who else read that tweet and thought -- this could be the ultimate Space Jam movie with the NBA taking on the Monstars!?

This summer, NASA does have two high-profile missions ready to launch: Demo-2 and the Mars 2020 rover Perseverance.

According to Space.com, Demo-2 is a test flight that will send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to and from the International Space Station. The mission is scheduled to lift off in mid-to late May. Perseverance will launch during a 2.5-week-long window that opens in mid-July. The car-size rover will land inside Mars' Jezero Crater in February 2021.

So, it sounds like NASA might still be pretty busy amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but hey, that doesn’t mean we aren’t eagerly waiting to see their reply to Nurk on Twitter.