NBA news: LeBron James, players pay tribute to Nipsey Hussle's birthday
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LeBron James, NBA players pay tribute to what would have been Nipsey Hussle’s 35th birthday

LeBron James, Nipsey Hussle, NBA

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and other NBA players paid tribute to the late Nipsey Hussle, the deceased hip-hop artist who would have turned 35 years old on Saturday.

Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed last year near a clothing store he owned in Los Angeles, California. The rapper had a close relationship with a lot of NBA players and had strong ties to the L.A. community.

James spoke last season about the killing of Nipsey Hussle.

The Lakers superstar forward called it one of the biggest tragedies in history.

โ€œItโ€™s another tragedy in the inner city, urban community, and itโ€™s just unfortunate,โ€ James said in aย CBS 2 Los Angelesย interview about the rapperโ€™s murder.

โ€œItโ€™s so unfortunate when you look at a guy who believed in what he believed in, talked about how he wanted to give back to his own community, actually gave back to his community, and actually stayed in his community.โ€

Before the 2019-20 season started, James honored Nipsey Hussle with a custom Compton basketball jersey that had โ€œCrenshawโ€ written on the front.

Nipsey Hussle may no longer be with us. However, his legacy, impact and spirit live on. He was an influential recording artist and activist who spoke out against gun violence afflicting his community.

The 2020 NBA playoffs begin next week. James and the Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference standings. They will face the Memphis Grizzlies or Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, as the two teams face each other in a play-in tournament.