Russell Westbrook Dedicated His Record-Breaking Game To This Legend

The Thunder guard’s legendary performance served as a touching tribute

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Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

On April 2nd, Russell Westbrook walked out in a lavish pair of Pokémon-inspired Jordans, personally inscribed with “NH NIP.” The shoe was dedicated to the life of Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was tragically killed in front of his store on Slauson Avenue in L.A on March 31st. People quickly caught wind of the tribute. But what they didn’t expect from Westbrook was a monumental performance for the ages that will be talked about for many years to come. While leading his team to a 110-103 win over the Lakers, Westbrook finished with 20 points, 20 rebounds and 21 assists. He became the second player besides Wilt Chamberlain to record a 20-20-20 triple-double performance in an NBA game.

After the game, many added up Westbrook’s counting statistics and made another Nipsey-inspired connection: 60, a reference to the gang Hussle was involved in as a youth. But Westbrook and Hussle’s personal relationship was more positive: In 2016, they threw a joint benefit for Westbrook’s “Why Not?” Foundation, serving free Thanksgiving meals in the Los Angeles community.

After the game, Westbrook made the dedication crystal clear. “That’s for Nipsey,” he said. Westbrook’s outstanding on-court performance served as yet another important moment in the discussion about the gun violence that took Hussle’s life, bringing a new level of awareness to the tragedy.

The way in which Russell sent his last goodbye to a very good friend was not only moving but an eye-opener to fans about appreciating their heroes while they are alive and well.

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