Late in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals series between the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, a scuffle ensued not far from press row.
Involved in the encounter was injured Portland center, Jusuf Nurkic, which caused a comment from Nuggets radio analyst and former NBA player, Scott Hastings that the Blazers weren’t happy about.
“Nurkic is acting like a tough guy,” Hastings said.
“Well, he always does that,” Nuggets play-by-play voice Jason Kosmicki answered.
“That’s true. Kick him in the shin.” Hastings said, generating a laugh from Kosmicki.
Nurkic, formerly of the Nuggets, is out for the season after a gruesome leg injury in March which saw his shin snap as he collapsed to the floor, later requiring surgery. The Trail Blazers didn’t find Hastings joking about the Nurkic injury to be appropriate.
Damian Lillard called Hastings a “clown” on Twitter, before telling the media “it’s unacceptable and it’s BS, hopefully there’s some consequences,” for the Nuggets radio analyst.
After Lillard’s reaction, Hastings went on Twitter to apologize for his comments with a quartet of tweets. “What I said trying to be cute and funny missed the mark for a lot of people. It angered some of you and is an unneeded distraction for a great series, that was not my intent and for that I am sorry. I will try and see bigger picture in the future! Jusuf Nurkic is a great player that makes the Blazers better. His health and return matters. Apologies.”
On Sunday, the Trail Blazers had the last laugh, beating the Nuggets in Denver to advance to the Western Conference Finals. Scott Hastings and play-by-play announcer Jason Kosmicki are the Nuggets radio team for their flagship station, Altitude Sports 92.5.
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“I think he knew the wrestling role, but I don’t think the other guys did,” Choppy said.