Basketball stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook recently chatted with GQ about their sense of style, being Houston Rockets teammates and more. Among the variety of topics was the duo’s friendship with the late Nipsey Hussle.
Upon hearing news of the rapper‘s death in March 2019, “James was one of the first calls I made,” Westbrook explained. “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.”
Harden added that he saw Nipsey just days before he died. “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,” he said. “They came and cooked at the house, and we were talking. He had a deal with a casino.”
Harden went on to note that the late rapper had planned on launching a sports agency, and that one of the basketball player’s goals is to make the agency happen in his honor. “So me, him, and [James’ manager] Zo and all the homies, we were just talking about it,” he said. “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’m sitting back in Vegas, and I get the phone call, and I’m like, ‘It’s impossible.'”
Nipsey Hussle died on March 31, 2019, after he was shot outside his Los Angeles Marathon Clothing store. He was survived by his longtime girlfriend Lauren London, their son Kross, and Hussle’s older daughter Emani.