The Los Angeles Lakers star shared his condolences for the family and loved ones of Hussle, who was fatally shot on March 31 outside of Marathon Clothing, the store the rapper founded in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles.
“When you look at a guy who believed in what he believed in, talked about how he wanted to give back to his own community – actually gave back to his community, and actually stayed in his community, it’s not many who’s done that,” James said.
He later said that Hussle’s shooting death, which happened in the rapper’s community, is “one of the most unfortunate events that has happened in American history.”
“Him being a friend of mine as well... I still don’t believe it,” he added.
Eric R. Holder Jr., the 29-year-old man accused of killing Hussle and injuring two other men, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges.
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, worked to revitalize the South Los Angeles community where he was raised in a number of ways, including his advocacy to have black art and history celebrated in his community with project Destination Crenshaw and his investment in providing STEM programs to the inner city, and black and brown kids. He died at 33 years old.
James paid homage to Hussle by wearing a shirt that featured an illustration of the rapper at the Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors game in Los Angeles on Thursday.
On Friday, James tweeted that Hussle’s death continues to bring him to tears.
“Daily shed tears soon as I think about it,” he wrote.