Just weeks before he’s set to begin his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers, veteran LeBron James took time to pay tribute to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.
James used social media to show himself wearing a blue alternate Crenshaw jersey, recognizing the neighborhood where Hussle grew up.
Despite being raised in Crenshaw, Hussle actually attended nearby Hamilton High School. Over the past decade, he had become a major presence in rap before being shot and killed on March 31, with his death leading to a number of tributes from NBA players.
Crenshaw High School has been a perennial powerhouse in high school basketball in the Los Angeles area. The school’s most famous basketball player was former NBA star Marques Johnson, who played collegiately at UCLA, where he was part of the school’s 1975 NCAA title team.
The 34-year-old James has been working diligently during the offseason to get back to the form that’s made him one of the greatest basketball players ever. His first season with the Lakers was marred by injury and limited him to just 55 games on the year.
However, the Lakers have added superstar Anthony Davis to their starting lineup, raising hopes that the postseason drought experienced by the team will finally end. The Lakers’ last playoff trip took place in 2013, when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in four games.