Sickening broken leg rocks NBA
FIRST it was Paul George, then Gordon Hayward and now another NBA superstar has gone down with a horrifying broken leg.
This time it is Portland Trail Blazers centre Jusuf Nurkic, whose leg buckled and snapped as he came down from attempting to make an offensive rebound in the second period of overtime in Portland's 148-144 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
With Portland leading 134-132 Mo Harkless missed a bucket and Nurkic went up for the rebound before his left leg snapped upon landing.
The left leg broke outwards with the leg pointing sideways at the shin.
"And Nurkic is in pain," said one commentator.
"Nurk is down and the left leg, the left leg buckled and he is in considerable pain and he has a serious injury."
The arena then went extremely quiet as pained expressions struck the faces of his teammates most notably Enes Kanter and Damian Lillard, who looked sickened by what they had seen.
"Nurkic continued to lay there with his hands covering his face and in shock as the crowd chanted "Jusuf Nurkic" for their fallen star.
Adding insult to the actual injury one of the referees officiating the game appeared to actually trip on the injured leg as he tried to hurdle the fallen big man.
Remarkably Portland went on to win the game and clinch a playoff spot in the stacked Western Conference but how well they fare without their starting centre is completely up in the air. Especially with shooting guard CJ McCollum also battling a knee injury at present.
Amazingly Nurkic still topped the scoring for Portland in the win with 32 points and 16 rebounds and guard Seth Curry said being able to steel themselves and get the win was all for their fallen teammate.
"That overtime was for (Nurkic) for sure. It was tough to finish that game when the big fella got hurt like that," Curry said.
"We will try and get him support after the game.
"We had to lock in and finish that game hard. He worked hard for the win, so we tried to give it to him."
Many NBA stars quickly got round the fallen star expressing their well wishes on social media, teammate Enes Kanter, leading the way. Several European NBA stars were especially quick to chime in.
Kanter said post match he expects that Nurkic will return even stronger.
"To see one of your brothers go down like that I don't know what to say," Kanter said.
"I will go home and pray for him, this is bigger than basketball."