Rap Legend’s Sudden Demise Forced Udonis Haslem & Ex-NBA Stars to Confront Disturbing Reality of Their Childhood Homes

Published 01/23/2024, 9:50 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Living in America can be a tough endeavor. While it is a harsh experience for the common public, even for superstars in the NBA, the story isn’t much better. In light of the Ja Morant incidents, more stories centered on safety have made the rounds around the league. Recently, Udonis Haslem, along with a few other OGs went into a deep discussion about their lives and the impact their culture had on them. Further, the realization that stuck with them after the death of a rap legend.

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When Nipsey Hussle met his untimely fate, the entire NBA mourned the loss of a legend. Whether it was tributes or performances, the NBA was full of odes to the superstar. Who can forget Russell Westbrook‘s iconic 20-20-20 game and subsequent shoutout?

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But, that situation also brought some realizations for players in the league. Veterans Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles went into detail about how that event changed their outlook. “That was the most dangerous place in the world that I could be at.” Safety became a paramount question after the Nipsey incident.

And once I seen Nipsey die and it was just like, ‘Man, he just got killed on something that he on his block, all the people know him.'” It made living in East St. Louis where he grew up a real problem difficult place for him. “Everybody in East St. Louis know me. If I don’t know you, I know your mama or your auntie or your cousin or your brother. But that’s like the most dangerous spot for me…It made me grow up a little bit.” 

The Miami Heat legend had to agree with his assessment. But, not before he threw some shade towards Ja Morant.

Udonis Haslem gives a sneaky Ja Morant diss

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The legend’s death had an impact on UD as well. “That Nipsey thing, that s**t opened my eyes too, I ain’t going to even lie. And I didn’t know Nip but to see him, you know what I’m saying, get killed…When he was so loved and respected, what he did for the community. S**t opened up a lot of eyes.” 

USA Today via Reuters

The Miami Heat legend, whose feud with the Boston Celtics seems unending, made another enemy, however. Given the love, respect, fame, and financial gains the league has given the players, Haslem felt like it was lightning at the edge of a bottle. “I ain’t pulling it out just to show it and play with it. It’s not a game. A gun is not a toy.” 

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Those words seem like a direct shot at Ja Morant, and his antics on Instagram live. With Morant turning a corner, perhaps this conversation can further shed light on the dangers such a situation brings. And it can lead to better security and a careful outlook for people.

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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My earliest memories of a connection to basketball was through its popularity in my school. Eventually, that gave way to a genuine passion for the sport and the rest, is history. Whether it be gameplay, the tactics, the narratives, or the sheer art on display, the game speaks to me in a way few other things can.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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