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Russell Westbrook dedicates performance to Nipsey Hussle, whose death has shaken NBA

first_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Hussle’s music was playing in the Lakers’ locker room before the game as a reminder to the players, who said they had a difficult time receiving the news.“We’ve been talking about it the last couple of days, we’ve taken it pretty hard,” veteran point guard Rajon Rondo said. “He’s a legend, he’s a king to where he’s from and around the world. He had a great message, setting a great example for a lot of young people and people where he’s from. So he was a great man.”KUZMA SITS AGAIN, COULD BE SHUT DOWNWith just four games remaining, there’s only one member of the Lakers’ preseason-hyped young core left who hasn’t been shut down.Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers OKLAHOMA CITY — As Russell Westbrook landed with a rebound, accomplishing a milestone unseen in the NBA in fifty-one years, he repeated one sentence as he pounded his chest.“That’s for Nipsey!” he shouted as the home crowd stood up to applaud during the timeout. “That’s for Nipsey!”The shooting death of 33-year-old rapper Nipsey Hussle on Sunday rocked much of the NBA, where intersections with hip-hop are common and often powerfully felt. It meant a lot particularly to Westbrook, who wore a Crenshaw shirt to the game in honor of Hussle – the two men grew up close in South Los Angeles and became friends over the years.“That wasn’t for me, man,” Westbrook said postgame on the broadcast. “That was for my bro, man. That was for Nipsey, man: 20 plus 20 plus 20, they know what that means, man. That’s for my bro. Rest in peace, Nipsey.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt’s been just as much of a talking point in the Lakers locker room. Many players, including LeBron James and Lance Stephenson, knew Hussle and were close with him. Hussle was a Lakers fan who frequently attended games and sat courtside.News broke of his death during the Lakers’ victory in New Orleans on Sunday, with James posting social media tributes to Hussle, including a tweet: “So so SAD man!! DAMN man this hurt.”While James wasn’t available to the media Tuesday after being shut down for the season, others were willing to speak up. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said he had met Hussle several times in James’ company.“Great person,” he said. “Always had great energy. Just been sad what happened. … Hurt the whole city, pretty much.”Aside from his music catalog, Hussle also left behind a legacy as an L.A. activist, with hopes of improving his hometown and helping kids. Officials from the L.A.P.D. spoke this week about a planned summit with Hussle to help curb gang violence in the neighborhood in which he was killed. A suspect in the murder was arrested on Tuesday.center_img Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs But if problems persist with his left foot tendinitis, Kyle Kuzma could be next.The second-year forward missed his second straight game with the ailment, which Coach Luke Walton said was not yet “100 percent healthy.” Instead of his typical pregame workout, Kuzma went to the weight room before sitting on the bench in a suit during Tuesday’s game.When asked if the injury might reach a point where the team’s medical staff decides the risk isn’t worth him playing again this season, Walton affirmed: “Possibly, yeah.“That’s why when we get home and kinda take a better look at what’s going on, that decision will be made,” he added. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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