Nipsey tragedy takes sports world by storm

John Laforest
Staff Writer

Some of the biggest names in sports mourned the passing of rapper and philanthropist Nipsey Hussle who died Sunday, March 31 after being shot on the streetoutside of his clothing store in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. 

Hussle’s killer was identified as Eric Holder. Holder was a friend of Nipsey’s and seen in several pictures with the deceased rapper. Holder was taken into custody April 3, pleading not guilty to murder. An hour before Nipsey was shot, he tweeted, “having strong enemies is a blessing”.

Nipsey was not only beloved in the music community but as well as the sports community. He was a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan coming to the Staples Center frequently to watch LeBron and company play. The NBA world was taken back with the artist’s death.

The 33-year-old musician, whose real name is Ermias Asghedom, had been a constant presence at NBA games over the years, and stars of the league took to social media to mourn him in the hours after his passing.

“So so SAD man!!” Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted along with a series of exclamation points and crying emojis. “DAMN man this hurt.”

“Please just open your hearts, eyes and ears!” he wrote in a follow-up tweet. “Please let’s stopping waiting until we’re gone before we decide to finally LISTEN!”

Kyle Kuzma, James’ teammate on the Lakers, added, “My dawg you will be missed…  we still gonna run these laps.”

Russel Westbrook credited his historic performance of 20 points, 20 assists and 20 rebounds to Hussle. After grabbing his final rebound of the game, the 8-time All-Star of the Oklahoma City Thunder shouted “THATS FOR NIP!” He commented more on the performance and said, “That was for my bro, man,” he said. “That was for Nipsey. Rest in peace to Nipsey, man. I’m just thankful to go out there and compete at a high level, man. Thankful to have these teammates. Thankful and humbled to go out there and play the game I love.”

Nipsey’s heavy involvement with repairing his neighborhood in Crenshaw makes the death so much more shocking. Nipsey responsible for implementing jobs through opening business’s and also funding local public schools in the Crenshaw area. California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted this. “His senseless death leaves us worse off.”

“I grew up in gang culture,” Hussle told the Los Angeles Times in 2018. “We dealt with death, with murder. It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it.”

Nipsey death left a rippling effect because of the great intentions he had to change the world beyond the music.

Header photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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