Trail Blazers

Jusuf Nurkic shows off QB skills in full-court pass to CJ McCollum

Trail Blazers

Jusuf Nurkic is a man of many talents.

He’s an absolute monster on the inside with a plethora of different skills—from terrorizing opponents around the rim and picking up slack off the glass to his pick-in-roll playmaking with Damian Lillard.  

But on Wednesday as the Trail Blazers downed the Utah Jazz 105-98 at Vivint Arena, Nurkic pulled something new out of his bag of tricks.  

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With just 1.1 second left on the clock before halftime, Nurkic found his downfield target and aired it out to CJ McCollum for the catch-and-shoot at the buzzer. The Blazers took a 59-56 lead over the Jazz, and the phrase “that’s my quarterback” took on a whole new meaning.

When asked about his football skills post-game, the Bosnian Beast said he’s never played “real football,” but added “I think I can really pass… I think that’s one thing I can do and I’m willing to do.”


"Never worked on it," McCollum added of the play with Nurkic. "Nurk will throw any pass, especially under these circumstances it was a great pass... I don't know if he's played football before besides in the summer when we play, but it was a dime, one hand, dime...

I got great timing, you know me, I can judge the football. In another life, I probably would have been a wide receiver, but I wasn't going across the middle for anybody. In that case, two feet down, and I got my balance and just made the play.

- CJ McCollum on pass from Jusuf Nurkic

The conversation continued on Twitter as McCollum commented on a video of the play and gave Nurkic the nickname “QB Nurk.” The Blazers big responded appropriately with this response to the Browns fanatic.

“Let me know if you @Browns need help lol,” he tweeted.   

Hey, Nurkic may have never played football and there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s focused on what he knows best—balling out on the basketball court.

As the Blazers won their fifth-straight game Wednesday, Nurkic posted 11 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out six assists, four blocks and three steals in 32 minutes. Portland is now winners of nine of its last 10 games.

Like a QB, Nurkic is honing that next-game mindset as the Blazers have the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night on the second night of a back-to-back. Tip-off for Thursday’s game is set for 7:00 p.m. on NBCSNW, the official network of the Portland Trail Blazers.