Trail Blazers' Jusuf Nurkić confronts Pacers fan and tosses his phone away in rage
Jusuf Nurkić had an angry confrontation with a Pacers fan and threw away his cellphone following the Blazers-Indiana game on Sunday
Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkić, who is currently sidelined, confronted a Pacers fan courtside and tossed his cellphone into the stands in a fit of rage on Sunday night. It has been a month since the Portland NBA player has been benched due to his injury from plantar fasciitis.
The incident took place when he casually walked over to confront a fan who was sitting with friends and heckling Nurkić. He exchanged fiery words with the Pacers fan as he towered over him. The heckler, however, did not give in and apparently said something offensive to Nurkić.
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In the now-viral Twitter video of the incident, someone standing close to the heckler is heard laughing as Nurkić decidedly approached the man, looking visibly angry. Nurkić came and stood really close to the guy and took his phone from his hand before tossing it towards the crowd.
Jusuf Nurkic takes Pacers fans phone and throws it. pic.twitter.com/KafdHuCSqa— Setting The 🅿️ace🏀🎙 (@SettingThePace3) March 21, 2022
The fan looked at him shocked and said, “Why’d you throw my phone?” as a security guard tried to intervene. Before it could escalate further, the annoyed center walked away. Although it is not clear what caused the Bosnian sportsman to lose his cool, it is doubtful he gave an apology. He could possibly end up being fined once the league gets to the bottom of the incident since intense physical confrontations with fans are frowned upon by the National Basketball Association.
The incident followed the Blazers’ 129-98 flat loss to Indiana. Nurkić also did not sit for any interviews post the game. The 27-year-old player later posted a picture on Twitter wearing the same burgundy suit while sidelined at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Last month, the Trail Blazers announced that Nurkić will have to undergo re-evaluation for a month owing to his heel’s tissue inflammation. His previous two seasons were also marred by injury.
This is not the first incident where popular NBA players have lost their cool amid the game. Late last year, a scuffle between LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart at the Lakers vs Pistons game on November 21 resulted in the ejection of both players after Bron injured Isaiah and left him bleeding profusely.
The altercation happened during the third quarter when James accidentally elbowed Stewart in his eye while fighting for a rebound. The injury sent Stewart into a fit of rage as he tried to get back at James before being restrained by his teammates. While James was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul, Stewart was ejected for two technical fouls in the fray.