In a new interview with GQ, Houston Rockets NBA teammates James Harden and Russell Westbrook discussed their friendship with Nipsey Hussle and revealed the late rapper’s far-reaching plans.
“James [Harden] was one of the first calls I made,” Westbrook recalled the day that he found out about Nipsey’s tragic murder. “There was no hesitation about it because we understand his impact, what he was doing and why. We understand who he was. It wasn’t no fluff. Now the rest of the world understands.”
“A couple days before he passed, I had rented a house in L.A. and he pulled up by himself—no security, no nothing,” Harden remembered. “Beats [by Dre] set a whole dinner up. They came and cooked at the house and we were talking. He had a deal with a casino.”
Harden’s mentioning of the casino deal refers to Nipsey’s reported part-ownership of an upcoming Las Vegas resort. Besides the casino, Nipsey had also told Harden about his plans to expand his own Marathon empire.
“He wanted to do a Marathon sports agency,” Harden told the outlet. “So me, him and [James’s manager] Zo and all the homies, we were just talking about it. We just had an in-depth conversation, smoking a cigar in the back, just chopping it up about how big we can make this. And then one day I’m sitting back in Vegas, and I get the phone call [about Nipsey’s death] and I’m like, ‘It’s impossible.’”
“I still want to figure out how to make [the agency] happen,” he continued. “Like, that’s one of my goals.”
Beyond being a Grammys Award-winning rapper, Nipsey has been remembered and praised for his business acumen. Puma recently reissued their Marathon Clothing-collaborated capsule, after the initial collection sold out in one day. Nipsey’s The Marathon company— and his legacy— also inspired the nationwide The Marathon Bookclub.