Wednesday was a significant day for Brooklyn Nets star point guard James Harden. Not only did Harden face his former team the Houston Rockets but it was also the second anniversary of the death of his close friend and rap icon Nipsey Hussle.
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James Harden Honors Nipsey Hussle
Hussle was tragically murdered in front of his Marathon Clothing Store in 2019. Before the Nets tipped off against the Rockets, Harden honored his late friend by wearing a hoodie with Hussle’s legendary slogan “The Marathon Continues.”
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Harden Saw Nipsey Days Before His Death
Nipsey and Harden had a close relationship. Both had ties to the West Coast as California natives. Harden had reportedly just seen Nipsey days before his death in Compton.
“I had rented a house in L.A., and he pulled up by himself—no security, no nothing. Beats [by Dre] set a whole dinner up,” Harden said via Billboard.
“They came and cooked at the house, and we were talking. He had a deal with a casino.”
Russell Westbrook Called Harden After Nipsey’s Death
Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook, who is also a California native had a personal relationship with Nipsey as well. When Westbrook received the news of the rap icon’s death in 2019, Harden was the first person that he called.
“James was one of the first calls I made,” Westbrook said of receiving the news of Nipsey’s death via Billboard.
“There was no hesitation about it because we understand his impact, what he was doing and why. We understand who he was. It wasn’t no fluff. Now the rest of the world understands.”
Russell Westbrook Honored Nipsey With Historic Game
Westbrook had one of the craziest stat lines in recent memory to honor Nipsey after his death.
“The Brodie” registered 20 points, 21 assists, and 20 rebounds to represent Nipsey’s neighborhood in Los Angeles, the Rolling 60’s. It was only the second 20-20-20 game in NBA history after Wilt Chamberlain did it in 1968.
“That wasn’t for me,” Westbrook said of his historic performance via the New York Times.
“That was for my bro — that was for Nipsey. Twenty plus twenty plus twenty.”
Nipsey Wanted To Start His Own Sports Agency
Nipsey’s had an unbelievable impact on the game of basketball throughout his lifetime. NBA players across the league respected him and what he did for the rap game. His impact on the NBA was so large that he had plans to launch his own sports agency one day.
“So, me, him, and [James’ manager] Zo and all the homies, we were just talking about it,” Harden said via Billboard.
“We just had an in-depth conversation, smoking a cigar in the back, just chopping it up about how big we can make this. And then one day I am sitting back in Vegas, and I get the phone call, and I’m like, ‘It’s impossible.'”
Despite Nipsey’s life being taken way too prematurely, his legacy will live on forever.
The marathon continues.