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NBA World Saddened by tragic death of rapper, friend and ICON Nipsey Hussle



“His messages, his beliefs, his way of thinking, his way of going about life, it was always about spreading knowledge, uplifting and overcoming adversity,” – DeMarcus Cousins

Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins played rapper Nipsey Hussle’s music before and during his trip to Oracle Arena to mentally prepare himself for Sunday night’s game.

When Cousins walked into the locker room before the game, his teammate Quinn Cook passed on the news that his beloved rapper had been shot. The four-time All-Star was stunned.

About 45 minutes before the Warriors tipped off against the Charlotte Hornets, news broke that the rapper had died.

“The sick part about it, I had been listening to Nipsey all day today,” Cousins told The Undefeated. “If you go to my Instagram, it was like moments before the news broke, I posted his music. I’m not even sure what the time frame was. Everyone knows I’m a huge Nipsey fan. He’s more to me than just a rapper, he’s an icon. …

“You hate to see anybody go, but you really hate to see that happen to a person like that. … I still haven’t settled with it. It was on my mind even before the game.”

Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was a popular hip-hop artist whose 2018 debut album Victory Lap was nominated for a Grammy.

After walking away from life as a gang member in Los Angeles, Asghedom gave back to his South Central community by starting businesses, buying local real estate and empowering his fellow African Americans to use their money for purchases of lasting value and not popular vanity items. He gave jobs to locals in need, including the homeless, and gave shoes to an entire elementary school, and he donated money to renovate playgrounds and basketball courts, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 33-year-old was also planning to meet with Los Angeles police about gang violence prevention and aiding kids in need.

But on Sunday at around 3:20 p.m. Pacific time, Asghedom was shot six times at close range in the parking lot in front of his store, Marathon Clothing, on West Slauson Avenue in South Central Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times. Two other men were also shot by someone who was still at large on Sunday evening. NBC News reported that Asghedom died at 4:43 p.m. PDT.

“His messages, his beliefs, his way of thinking, his way of going about life, it was always about spreading knowledge, uplifting and overcoming adversity,” Cousins said. “Just because you come from poverty, the projects, the ’hood, don’t let that be your last stop. That’s a steppingstone for you. Use that struggle, that grind, to do something for yourself.

“He was always preaching about entrepreneurship, starting your own business, black-owned businesses, creating opportunities right within your community. It was everything that, sad to say, the black man needed to hear. He was about empowering our community and keeping it in our community.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green, who was in the locker room celebrating his alma mater Michigan State advancing to the Final Four, was quieted by the news of Asghedom’s shooting. Green said he had spent time with Asghedom on several occasions.

In the Warriors’ locker room, Cousins showed teammates a picture on his cellphone of Hussle after he was shot. The players were visibly shaken by the tragic news.

Several hours after the Warriors game, Green told The Undefeated he was contemplating how many people would be affected by this “very sad day.”

“I was feeling amazing about the Spartans’ victory and the news was just kind of a dark cloud over that,” Green told The Undefeated early Monday morning via text message. “I’ve been thinking about it since. Thinking about how many people this will affect. About how his children now have to grow up without a father. Growing up in the inner city I understand what it is to make it out.

“You want to provide a life for your children that you never experienced. He worked his a– off to do that and to see that cut short due to senseless violence is heartbreaking.”

Stephen Curry, who interviewed Asghedom last year as part of his 5 Minutes from Home series on YouTube, built a friendship with him. Late Sunday night, Curry posted a picture of himself and Asghedom with the words “Just got to know you! Rest in Paradise.”

“I’m still in shock,” Curry told The Undefeated. “I just met him last year, but I knew about him, his background and the kind of messages he stood for in terms of empowering the community. He trailblazed a path on educating people from tough upbringings into something positive. What he did with music, investment, stuff he was giving back to the community and the impact he was making, for something like this to go down is disheartening, to be honest.”

The news of Asghedom’s death also hit close to home for Warriors forward Jordan Bell, who is from the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach. Bell said Asghedom motivated him to use his money more wisely and make sound purchases.

“It was someone who was trying to change the view on African American men who had money,” Bell told The Undefeated. “Even if they came from a certain past, they still had an opportunity to change their whole way people see us and view us. I remember him talking about investing your money, stop buying bulls— chains. His big thing was to buy property. That was something I really was listening to in high school and college. He was one of those true OGs who was trying to make a change.”

The Warriors joined the NBA in mourning Asghedom. Numerous players offered condolences and respect to Hussle on social media, including LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Zach LaVine, Trae Young, Karl-Anthony Towns, Tobias Harris, Kyle Kuzma, Victor Oladipo and Donovan Mitchell. The Lakers also celebrated the slain rapper’s life on social media, saying, “Artist. Activist. Angeleno. L.A. mourns the loss of one of our own, Nipsey Hussle.”

The Los Angeles Clippers paid tribute to Asghedom on their JumboTron during their game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell had a Clippers jersey with the word “Hussle” on the back in his locker on Sunday, while guard Lou Williams showed respect with the words “Money Making Nip” written on his shoes. Both were close friends of Asghedom’s.

“I ain’t even ready to say anything publicly yet. It’s been rough. I haven’t been able to digest it all,” Williams told the Los Angeles media.

Asghedom was a regular at Lakers and Clippers games.

Houston Rockets star James Harden, a Los Angeles native, used to play Asghedom’s song “I Don’t Stress” to get him going during his pregame workout, according to Rockets DJ TGray. Asghedom and Harden were close friends and supportive of one another.

Warriors in-house DJ Derrick “D-Sharp” Robinson paid tribute on Sunday night by playing Asghedom’s popular song “Last Time That I Checc’d” in a mix during a timeout in the fourth quarter. Green, Kevin Durant and Shaun Livingston celebrated Asghedom’s life by dancing along.

“It’s very devastating,” said Robinson, who met Hussle at a club appearance in San Francisco last year. “Huge loss to the hip-hop community. I can’t believe they took his life after all he has done for the community. It’s tragic.”

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Nipsey Hussle & Steph Curry on Fatherhood, Integrity & More




It was announced Wednesday that Curry has been nominated for a Webby Award in the Best Web Personality/Host category for work on his YouTube series 5 Minutes from Home.

The web series features a different guest every episode, where they take on subjects of substance, such as gender inequity in sports with guest Riley Morrison, the portrayal of women in entertainment (especially rap and hip-hop) with the late Nipsey Hussle, and city politics with the mayor of Oakland, Calif.

Take a look back at episode 2 when Curry had Nipsey Hussle on the show, in which he took a ride with the multi-talented rapper and entrepreneur. The two go deep on a wide range of issues related to sports, music, and fatherhood.

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Students At LeBron James’ I Promise School Show Impressive Academic Improvement




It’s been nearly a year since NBA star LeBron James opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio and it has proven to be nothing short of impactful in the lives of underserved children. According to CBS Sports, its students are making strides and displaying excellence when it comes to academics.

James is happy to witness the progress the students have made and hopes that it brings attention to the need for quality education in underserved communities.

“These kids are doing an unbelievable job—better than we all expected. When we first started, people knew I was opening a school for kids. Now people are going to really understand the lack of education they had before they came to our school. People are going to finally understand what goes on behind our doors.”

The I Promise School has grown to become a staple in the community. Aside from enriching the lives of children through education, it provides resources for low-income families; including everything from a food pantry to career support. The school will launch summer camps surrounding STEM education within the next few months and in 2021 students will have the opportunity to further their education at the University of Akron free of tuition.

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Nipsey Hussle’s Legacy Transcends Mortality




“Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1945

The city of Los Angeles, along with fans worldwide, collectively woke up with the heaviest of hearts on April 1, following the tragic murder of Nipsey Hussle. I was only four years old when Tupac Shakur was killed, but this is how I imagine my city felt in ‘96. Massive murals have been painted. Countless tributes and stories from L.A. natives—from all walks of life—have poured in. With the volume up and the windows down, cars are pulling up next to me in traffic, blasting the music of the man called Neighborhood Nip.

Michel Moore, the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, said in a press conference following his death that “[he] saw the name Nipsey Hussle, and [he] looked at that again, and [he] looked at it again, and it was like [he] could not believe it.” Steve Soboroff, President of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, revealed Nipsey and Roc Nation had a meeting scheduled for that Monday morning to discuss ways to combat gang violence in South Central Los Angeles.

Despite how hard I’ve tried, I can’t shake the sickening feeling that every detail of Nipsey’s murder played out like a fucking movie script:

  • Nipsey rushing to his The Marathon Clothing store without informing his team or bodyguard because he wanted to hook up a friend who had just been released from a 20-year prison term “with some new gear so he could look good before meeting up with his own family and friends later in the day.” 
  • His final tweet—inspired by an impromptu sit-down with a high-ranking member from a rival gang—sent just a half-hour before he was shot six times by a member of his own: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
  • Nipsey’s older brother, Samiel “Blacc Sam” Asghedom, running red lights down Slauson Avenue, arriving just in time to administer CPR before the paramedics arrived.

“You’re dealing with the pressures of trying to be successful as well as the pressure of people intentionally waking up to try to bring harm your way. […] A person that know me and come from the same environment and had the same cards dealt to them that keep going to jail, don’t have no money, never made they parents proud or they momma proud, never did anything that they could look in the mirror and be proud of, it make them feel a certain way, and it’s intense. And that shit manifest into jealousy, hate, violence.” —Nipsey Hussle, Interview

Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, had an undying love for his city, and he paid for that love with his life. It’s painfully surreal to witness a seemingly inextinguishable light eclipsed by a dark, shapeless void because he deserved better—as a man, a father, a son, a brother, a partner, and a hometown hero. Yet, over the past seven days, I’ve found solace in the one constant throughout his 33 years on this Earth: Nipsey operated without fear.

“Nip is sporadic. Nip gonna pull up and hop up out of the Jordan Downs projects, Nickerson Gardens, in any ‘hood in L.A., Compton, Watts—solo with $150,000 of jewelry on his neck and [an] $80,000 Rolex with no security. That’s why the people loved him,” Blacc Sam told the Los Angeles Times

This was the same Nipsey Hussle, who, despite being the face of one of the biggest and most dangerous gangs in Los Angeles, invested millions into the same block where he survived countless fights, raids, arrests, and shootouts; the same Nipsey Hussle who chose to walk amongst his people on ground zero as a physical manifestation of hope and change.

As Nipsey’s early South Central snarl evolved into the poise of a veteran and community leader, his fortitude remained steadfast. You heard the conviction in his raspy voice, and you saw the fearlessness behind his bloodshot, steely gaze; Nipsey Hussle carried himself with an empowering sense of agency.

When Nipsey spoke (or rapped) he projected ethereal energy into the world; like his spirit was immortal and death was never a possibility—and that’s the silver lining. Even in the wake of his tragic murder, Nipsey’s mission was bigger than himself. The rose that grew from concrete planted its seeds and when your legacy has been cemented, mortality is irrelevant. 

“We look at life like it’s about what you can get from life. You gon’ always be unfulfilled if you look at life like that. It’s about knowing you gon’ leave one day. And, you know, when you leave, the only way you gon’ be fulfilled is if you know you gave everything you had, and you emptied yourself here. And you left it all here, ‘cause it’s temporary and you got a moment.” —Nipsey Hussle, HOT 97 Interview 

Nipsey Hussle was running his own marathon, at his own pace, never forgetting to circleback to the streets that made him. He moved with graceful militance, his resolve never wavered, and he never shied away from sharing his ever-expansive breadth of knowledge and wisdom with the rest of the world. Now, it’s up to us. As the man himself once said, “the highest human act is to inspire.”

The marathon continues.

This article is republished from DJ Booth under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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