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Lakers Honor Late Rapper Nipsey Hussle Before Warriors Game
By Lauren A. Jones, Contributing Writer  
Published April 5, 2019

LeBron James sports a shirt with Nipsey Hussle on it to honor the slain rapper. (Courtesy NBA)

On Thursday night, LeBron James donning a customized Nipsey Hussle shirt ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. The effects of the untimely passing of Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle were deeply felt by NBA players around the league, especially James who took to Instagram stating, “I hope I can make you proud down here” before Thursday’s game. 

As the Lakers took the court for pregame warmups, Staples Center played Hussle’s “Last Time That I Checc’d” off of his Grammy-nominated album Victory Lap. The tribute continued as the entire Lakers’ warm up were a compilation of Hussle’s extensive discography including hits like “Dedication” and “Rap N*****”.

“Entrepreneur, rapper, and community activist Nipsey Hussle tragically passed away at the age of 33,” began the Staples Center announcer before the start of the game. “From his work within locals schools, creating business in L.A., and promoting better life choices, Nipsey had a lasting impact on bettering our entire Los Angeles community. Please join the Warriors, the Lakers, and the entire NBA family in a moment of silence for the late Nipsey Hussle.”

The Staples Center crowd of 18,9997 people fell silent in honor of Hussle.

At halftime, Warriors’ point guard Quinn Cook went over to Hussle’s bodyguard, known as “JRoc the Bodyguard”, who sat courtside and extended his condolences.

“The passing of Nipsey kind of shocked the world,” Cook declared. “Even if you didn’t know him, if you didn’t listen to his music or anything kind of just caught everybody off guard.”

Less than a month ago, Cook’s teammate Kevin Durant lost his best friend, Cliff Dixon, who was fatally shot in Atlanta leaving his birthday celebration at the age of 32. Dixon was a former basketball player who grew up in the Washington D.C., Maryland area and was very close to both Cook and Durant.

“Me and Kevin just lost a really, really close friend as well to gun violence, so it kind of hit home,” Cook continued. “So I wanted to send my condolences personally to him [JRoc] and the entire family, and we want to keep Nipsey’s name alive forever.”

JRoc, mourning the loss of his dear friend, was gifted a custom Lakers jersey with Nipsey Hussle’s name on the back signed by the entire Lakers roster in remembrance of the community fixture.  

Nipsey Hussle’s bodyguard, JRoc, holds up a customized Lakers jersey in honor of the late rapper (Courtesy Lakers)

Though the Lakers ultimately fell to to the Warriors, 108-90, the morale of the team was high in knowing that Hussle’s contributions to the Los Angeles community will never be forgotten.

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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