On Sunday March 31st, rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot dead in front of his store, Marathon Clothing.
Hussle was shot around 3:20PM, and shortly thereafter passed away. By the time Montrezl Harrell arrived to Staples Center, he had learned the news. Immediately upon arrival, Harrell knew he wanted the Clippers to do some kind of tribute. He personally reached out to numerous members of the organization to make sure that Hussle was honored in his home town; Harrell made it his own personal mission to make sure a tribute happened. Once the game started, his wish was realized.
The LA Clippers started and ended the night with impromptu tributes to Nipsey Hussle. It was a gesture that meant the world to both his fans, and to the players. Numerous players on the Clippers roster were friends with Hussle, including: Montrezl Harrell, Wilson Chandler, and Lou Williams.
Montrezl Harrell requested that the #Clippers honor Nipsey Hussle tonight. Nipsey's life and death deeply affected Harrell: "We really gotta come together as people and stop promoting this violence. There's a better way to go." pic.twitter.com/eTCj3TXhZS— Farbod Esnaashari ✪ (@Farbod_E) April 1, 2019
“We really gotta come together as people and stop promoting this violence. There’s a better way to go.” - Montrezl Harrell
Hussle’s life and impact struck a chord with many around the world, including NBA players. Not only was he a self made millionaire who rose from poor surroundings, but he dedicated his life to bettering his city of Crenshaw.
In 2018, he opened a coworking space called Vector 90 in Crenshaw district’s Hyde Park, an incubator focused on developing underrepresented entrepreneurs. He also launched STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs to help youth better educate themselves. It was a rare case of an individual becoming a star so that they could better the place they came from. These efforts were a big reason why Clipper players Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams wanted to honor the rapper.
Rest in peace, Nipsey Hussle. pic.twitter.com/SgxhQ16Zi9— x - LA Clippers (@LAClippers) April 1, 2019
Not only did Harrell request a video tribute, he created a custom made Clippers jersey. Lou Williams also wore a pair of shoes dedicated to Hussle.
“You know honestly I’m not even prepared to say anything publicly yet,” Lou Williams said. “It’s just rough, I haven’t been able to digest it.”
Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) created a custom made #Clippers Nipsey Hussle jersey: "He's a person that's very big in this community. He built his own empire, his own type of empire, his way." pic.twitter.com/fSyHaoCaHP— Farbod Esnaashari ✪ (@Farbod_E) April 1, 2019
“He’s a person that’s real big in this community. He built his own empire, his own type of platform, by doing it his way, by working his tail off. That’s what I really admire about a person like that, because that’s the type of person I try to be. To work hard.” - Montrezl Harrell
The mark of a successful life is knowing you left the world a better place, that your life had a positive impact on others. Nipsey Hussle’s life resonates with NBA players because the things he did, are the things they wish to do; rise up from nothing, inspire others, and help others rise from the ashes.
Montrezl Harrell Nipsey Hussle's death: “Honestly, any type of death should take a toll on everybody. Even with deaths we’ve had in the past like the Trayvon Martins. Any type of death or taking a person’s life is wrong." #Clippers #RIPNipseyHussle pic.twitter.com/TQPOydeq18— Farbod Esnaashari ✪ (@Farbod_E) April 1, 2019
“It doesn’t have to be rappers or celebrities. Any type of death or any form of taking a person’s life is wrong. It’s enough, at the end of the day, it’s just enough man.” - Montrezl Harrell
Montrezl Harrell wanted Clipper Nation to see the same vision of the man that he did, and to make sure that the rapper was honored properly. The second round pick who was drafted 32nd overall did it right.
Rest In Peace.