When Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of his Marathon Clothing store in South Central, his death sent shockwaves not only through the music industry, but the sports world, too. Hussle had connections and relationships with countless NBA players, and an outpouring of condolences from those players dominated Twitter and Instagram in the days following Hussle’s death.
DeMar DeRozan, a Compton native, was one of those players with deep ties to Hussle. He posted a tribute to his friend on Instagram, and in a recent appearance on Taylor Rook’s Take It There, DeRozan revealed that he’d had dinner with Hussle just a few weeks before the rapper’s passing.
He shared on the show what the two talked about, and it mirrors many of the stories about Hussle and his dreams of helping those in the community they shared.
“The crazy thing is, I think it was about two or three weeks before, I had dinner with him,” DeRozan said. “We had the most in-depth conversations about, you know, life. About how to be a better individual. How to give back. How to make sure your people straight. A plan to do something great. That’s something that’s always going to stick close to me for sure because I remember that night like it was yesterday.”
DeRozan’s words are similar to that of other players that knew Hussle. The conversations about being better people, giving back to the community and lifting up the people around you have been a common refrain amongst DeRozan and his NBA peers, and speak to the immense impact Hussle had not only with his music, but in his relationships.