Explore Nipsey Hussle’s impact on sports with ESPN’s all-new podcast featuring NBA stars

Hear from Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarcus Cousins, and many more in conversation about Nipsey Hussle’s undeniable life and legacy.

Jackie Kolgraf
August 19, 2021

SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher are proud to offer ESPN’s new 30 for 30 podcast The King of Crenshaw, a four-part series on how the late rapper Nipsey Hussle‘s life, death, and legacy deeply impacted the sports world. Presented by 30 for 30 Podcasts and The Undefeated, this series aims to examine how that overlap of Black male creativity, talent, and ambition will forever live on in Nipsey’s responsibility to his neighborhood and how NBA players are vowing to continue his marathon moving forward.

Shortly before a home tip-off against the Charlotte Hornets on March 31, 2019, then-Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins sat at his locker in a daze. Less than an hour earlier, GRAMMY-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was murdered in front of his Marathon clothing store in South Central Los Angeles. Cousins, who earlier that same day was posting Hussle’s music on his Instagram Stories, was stunned.

“Everyone knows I’m a huge Nipsey fan,” Cousins said. “He’s more to me than just a rapper. He’s an icon.”

Hussle’s death at 33 reverberated internationally — across sports from MLB and the NFL to the U.S. Women’s national soccer team — but especially in the NBA. Father, MC, entrepreneur, community leader, Rollin 60s Crip: Hussle wore many hats in his brief time on Earth. He was someone athletes looked to for motivation, not only to prepare for games but because his dedication to living a life of respect and principle resonated with them. His music became life mantras, and his commitment to his community coincided with social justice advocacy becoming an integral part of the sports fabric in America.

Many of those athletes are from the same area where Nipsey grew up and ultimately lost his life. Many people, in particular young Black men, saw themselves in him and his death left a tangible void in those who practiced what he preached. In death, his mantra, “The Marathon Continues,” has taken on added significance for many athletes.

The King of Crenshaw will paint a picture of how a South Central Los Angeles demigod inspired the athletes who inspire millions. Here are some of the notable guests you’ll hear throughout the podcast:

Episode 1: To Live and Die in LA

Nipsey Hussle’s tragic murder on March 31, 2019, in front of his South LA clothing store elicited immediate tributes across industries, walks of life and international borders. One world in particular where the news resonated on a deeply personal level was in the NBA, where Hussle had long, deep and authentic ties. For the host Justin Tinsley and many young Black men in the league, like DeMar DeRozan, Isaiah Thomas, Demarcus Cousins, Nipsey was far beyond a rapper who wrote the score to their lives. But why was this connection so deep? And in a genre that has always been woven with basketball in one way or another, what was it about Nipsey Hussle that made him far more than a friend, but rather an inspiration and beacon of light they carry with them for the rest of their lives?

VOICES: DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan, Bryan Robinson, Devi Brown, Gerrick Kennedy, Amira Rose Davis, Blacc Sam

Episode 2: Where You From?

Nipsey Hussle is a Los Angeles icon, but what’s the story behind that? Before the fame, he was Ermias Asghedom, a young kid coming of age in South Crenshaw district. Life in South Central was beautiful, but it wasn’t for the weak at heart either. This episode is a look into the world that raised, bruised, and ultimately made him the man he became.

VOICES: Blacc Sam, Cobby Supreme, Pacman da Gunman, J-Stone, DeMar DeRozan, Jorja Leap

Episode 3: Songs in the Key of Life

There are a ton of descriptions that could properly summarize Nipsey Hussle’s music career. But “overnight” isn’t one of them. A decade-plus-long journey through time that weaves in the highs, lows, joys, and pains of Nipsey’s voyage to his debut album ‘Victory Lap.’ And how that marathon ran parallel with the NBA players who were in awe of his every move.

VOICES: Isaiah Thomas, Blacc Sam, J-Stone, Devi Brown, DeMar DeRozan, DeMarcus Cousins

Episode 4: Neighborhood Nip

Nipsey traveled across the world, but all of his love and loyalty funneled back to the community that raised him. With the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Slauson Avenue as his headquarters, this episode is a poignant look into his devout local commitment — and how that played out in the worlds of business, philanthropy, and social justice as many young Black men in the NBA began to actively engage in them as well. Also, this episode looks at Nipsey’s prophetic mantra — ‘The Marathon Continues’ — and what that actually looks like moving forward.

VOICES: DeMarcus Cousins, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Blacc Sam, Cobby Supreme, Pacman da Gunman, Amira Rose Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Gerrick Kennedy, Devi Brown, Isaiah Thomas