NBA and hip hop are closely intertwined as players and rappers know each other and work together. Whenever the hip hop community loses an important member, the basketball world also mourns with them. A good example of this is Matt Barnes' latest hand tattoo to honor Nipsey Hussle.
Barnes posted his latest ink on his Instagram profile, leaving fans raving about the amazing tribute to the late American rapper.
Nipsey Hussle, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was an inspiration in the community. He started life as a gangbanger before starting rapping seriously about life in his neighborhood. He gained traction for his bars and delivery and was on his way to superstardom if it weren't for his desires to stay independent.
He was killed in front of his merchandise store earlier this year. However, his legacy in his community is well established. Pitchfork's Sheldon Pearce wrote about his contributions outside of the rap game:
He launched a coworking space and business incubator with inner city initiative Vector90. He started a STEM program for Crenshaw kids. He was a community partner on Destination Crenshaw, a mile-long outdoor museum honoring black locals. He walked with Trayvon Martin’s parents at a peace event. He refurbished a roller rink. Through his Marathon Store and a partnership with Puma, he made a $10,000 donation to a local elementary school, restoring their basketball court. He spoke at Los Angeles business schools. He was paying it forward at every opportunity.
Matt Barnes wasn't the only NBA player to give a tribute to the urban poet. LeBron James also launched a custom Creshaw jersey that will be available for a limited time. These players are doing their part in keeping Nipsey Hussle's story alive.