It has been more than two years since Nipsey Hussle’s tragic passing, and the artist, who always supported the Los Angeles Lakers, made notable impacts on the city. That includes players like Markieff Morris, despite not having L.A. roots.
Morris, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, didn’t spend much time in Los Angeles in his early days. He attended high school on the East Coast and played collegiate basketball with the University of Kansas.
The Phoenix Suns selected Morris with the 13th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, bringing him closer to the West Coast and Los Angeles; he played in Phoenix for five seasons before he was traded.
Though Morris landed with the Lakers in February 2020, about a year after Nipsey’s passing, he explained how Philadelphia and L.A. paralleled each other, saying Nipsey’s impact spread beyond L.A.
“He inspires me coming from where I’m coming from, there’s not too many ways to make it out,” Morris said shortly after the two-year anniversary of Nipsey Hussle’s death on March 31. “The stuff he was doing for his community was different because his education was on another level. He knew the in and out of building a community and none of us really know that, so he inspired us just to show us how to build a community up.”
Morris added how Nipsey’s brain was impactful and that he got to meet him on some occasions.
“None of us really know and it’s tough for us. The education he had was powerful because he always knew the history of everything. I had the chance to meet him a couple times, hang with him. He was just like me, man. We all looked up to him. We just want to keep his name going and long live Hustle.”
Morris hoping to return to Lakers
Even though this season didn’t end how Morris and the Lakers had wanted, he made it clear that he enjoys living in L.A. and wants to return in free agency.
“As far as coming back next year, of course. There’s nowhere else I would rather be,” Morris noted. “I feel like this is home for me. This is definitely where I want to be, I think we got a good shot of running it back next year. I think I will be here, I think if everything lines up the way it’s supposed to, I’ll be back next year.”
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