Last night, LeBron James became the latest NBA player to pay tribute to fallen hometown hero Nipsey Hussle, even though he didn’t hit the court. The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center, and even though LeBron is technically shut down for the season, he still repped Nipsey to the fullest on the nationally televised game with a T-shirt bearing the cover art from Nipsey’s mixtape Nip Hussle The Great: Vol. 2 with his NBA dress code-approved suit behind the bench.
The Los Angeles hoops community was shaken by the shooting death of Nipsey Hussle in front of his Marathon clothing store on Sunday, with numerous players and teams finding ways to salute the staunch supporter of LA basketball. As he’d grown up in the area, he knew many players personally and was also an inspiration that the sometimes violent streets of LA could be escaped through his perseverance and business savvy. He always showed up at games and even refurbished the outdoor court at his old school.
Other Los Angeles-based NBA players to pay tribute to Nipsey’s memory included JR Smith, who got a Nipsey Hussle tattoo, Russell Westbrook, who put up a historical stat line in honor of Nipsey’s upbringing in “The 60s,” and Baron Davis, who explained just how much Nipsey meant to LA basketball. LeBron’s tribute just goes to show how interwoven Nipsey’s influence truly was, that even a transplant who received a less-than-warm reception from LA’s basketball fans could feel it.
Nipsey Hussle is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.