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Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets - Game Two

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James Harden made it clear that he wants to continue to legacy of the late Nipsey Hussle, wearing a chain in tribute to the artist. Following the victory against the Utah Jazz last night (April 17), the Houston Rockets guard explained why it is important to keep Nipsey’s name alive.

“He’s one of my close friends,” Harden told the press, as he and Nipsey knew each other since middle school. “This journey that I’m on is for him, plain and simple.”

Harden and Nipsey were synonymous with each other as they grew into their careers and kept close tabs with each other regularly. Harden would also host Nipsey’s album release party for Victory Lap in 2018. When Nipsey was shot and killed in front of his Marathon Clothing Store, Harden was excused from practice to mourn the passing of his friend.

The sudden loss of Nipsey Hussle sent shockwaves throughout the hip-hop and NBA community. His desire to build a better community in Los Angeles motivated and inspired many that were close to him. A number of athletes from the LA area, from Baron Davis to Russell Westbrook, gave emotional tributes to the “Dedication” rapper. Westbrook recorded a 20-20-20 stat line shortly after Hussle’s passing, honoring the rapper in referenced to the Rollin 60s gang.

“That wasn’t for me. That was for my bro. That was for Nipsey. 20 plus 20 plus 20. They know what that means.”