The Portland Trail Blazers defeated Philadelphia, 130-115, in a matinee matchup on Saturday, Feb. 23, and the highlight from the game wasn’t the outcome, but Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic and 76ers forward Ben Simmons’ confrontation on the court.
During the second half of the game, Simmons was overheard telling Nurkic to “be f—– quiet,” assuming the Bosnian center was chirping at him on the court. The banter continued after Simmons missed a free-throw in the third quarter and Nurkic yelled “hell no” after the miss and sparked a response from last year’s Rookie of the Year.
“You talk a lot of s— for being a–,” Simmons said. “Be f—— quiet. You talk a lot.”
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) February 23, 2019
The shots didn’t end there. After the game, Nurkic—who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds—called out Simmons to the press about being a poor shooter and Blazers teammate Evan Turner fed into the scrum as well.
Jusuf Nurkic on trash talk from Ben Simmons: “I’m a better shooter than him, I guess. The way he’s able to shoot – or not able to shoot – is ridiculous.” Evan Turner, seated a few feet away, asked who Nurk was talking about. “The best shooter on the floor. Your boy Ben Simmons.”
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) February 23, 2019
Simmons got the better end of Nurkic in the stat-sheet finishing with 29 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds, but Nurkic’s team won by 15 points. Nurkic also turned to Instagram to throw more shade at Simmons, posting a photo of him blocking the All-Star forward.
Nurkic is averaging 15.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists for Portland through 57 appearances this season, while Simmons is averaging 16.8 points, 9.0 boards and 7.8 assists for Philadelphia.
Both teams are contenders in separate conferences with Portland sitting 4th in the West with a 36-23 record, and Philadelphia holding on to the 4th seed in the East with a 38-22 record.