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It’s tough being a goon in the modern NBA. A willingness to be ejected for ’bowing an opponent in the windpipe doesn’t naturally coincide with increasingly necessary tasks like protecting the rim, chasing lithe forwards with 3-point range, and spacing the floor with perimeter shooting. The ranks of Reggie Evans and Tyler Hansbrough have begun to dwindle.

Jusuf Nurkic1 may be the futuristic goon we’ve all been yearning for. The Nuggets’ hulking 20-year-old rookie is listed at 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds, moves like a danseuse, and looks like he’ll be a nightly double-double threat in Denver for the next decade. More importantly, despite not speaking much English, he’s already demonstrated a preternatural knack for aggravation.

See, the Bosnian Bear doesn’t care about your All-Star status. He sneers at it. After draining a jumper against Sacramento, he made faces at DeMarcus Cousins while backpedaling. He swatted Blake Griffin, then barked at the Clippers bench. And against the Grizzlies, he rejected Marc Gasol and jawed with the Spanish goliath until being chaperoned back to the sideline by jubilant teammates. In their recent rematch, Nurkic was booed by the Memphis crowd during introductions.

“He has a nasty attitude,” Denver coach Brian Shaw told Grantland. “He’s one of those guys that gets under your skin. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’d rather have a guy out there that’s pissing people off than a guy who’s buddy-buddy with everyone.”


It starts with the face. Nurkic’s mug is wide and expressive, with a crooked smile that oscillates between snarl and mocking hoot. There’s a hint of Eastern European recklessness in his demeanor, of boxy haircuts and bad stonewashed denim, of ice-pick stabbings at techno clubs seen on grainy black-and-white security camera footage. He’s the basketball version of Nelson Muntz, although “ha-ha” is more easily translated than whatever Nurkic is muttering on the court. Just imagine the indignities he’ll spew at Blake after a few months of Rosetta Stone.
http://grantland.com/the-triangle/modern-goon-jusuf-nurkic-denver-nuggets/

Videos in the link are awesome. This guy isn't afraid of anyone in the league. Gotta love that attitude.
 

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_(ツ)_ส้้้้&#3
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Jersey Girl
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He's very hateable. Looks like a 7-foot 280-pound Johnny Manziel. Cockiest guy on the floor despite being a 6 ppg rookie on a horrible team.

Marc owned him in the rematch.
As someone who has been following the Nuggets closely and been to 5 of their games this season, he's a lot of fun to watch. I am entertained by his IDGAF attitude. I was there at the first matchup against Marc Gasol that started their little rivalry and a game versus the Lakers soon after that one where he showed no intimidation by Kobe. It was refreshing!
 

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Jesus Shuttlesworth
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Love it. Has to be one of the most likeable players in the league right now
 

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Haha, what? If you put him on the Celtics or Heat team from a few years he'd easily be one of the least likable players but he's in Denver so it kinda makes him endearing
 

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btw have the Lakers and Pacers boards apologized yet for their 'OMG why isn't Brian Shaw getting a HC job" freakouts?
 

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Haha, what? If you put him on the Celtics or Heat team from a few years he'd easily be one of the least likable players but he's in Denver so it kinda makes him endearing
He can actually back it up. When KG was trying this shit he was doing it against Jose Calderon. And who was the Heats tough guy? Wade ran around trying shit a few times and then slinked away like a bitch, but that's about it.

If the Heat had a guy last year to clown Lance when he was flopping up and down the court I would have loved it. I hate guys who flop.
 
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