Warriors

Jordan Bell honors Nipsey Hussle before Warriors' Game 3 vs. Clippers

Jordan Bell honors Nipsey Hussle before Warriors' Game 3 vs. Clippers

The death of fallen rapper Nipsey Hussle, a Los Angeles icon, hit Warriors center Jordan Bell hard. 

"I thought it was fake at first," Bell, who was born in L.A. and went to high school in Long Beach, told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock on March 31, the day of Hussle's death. "I started seeing more and more, so I went on Twitter and starting looking for verified accounts tweeting about it.

"You saw pictures of him shot in the head and all that s---. I don't know, it just f---ed me up. And finding out he died right before the game was tough, really tough."

As the Warriors' first-round playoffs series heads to L.A., Bell is honoring Hussle with a pair of customized shoes for Game 3 against the Clippers. 

Prior to Game 3, Murdock asked Bell what it means to wear the shoes in L.A.

"I mean everything," Bell said. "It's where I'm from and I think the passing of him kind of brought everybody. Even though we're not from the same exact place, we grew up from around the same area, so we're just showing love to him and what he meant to the whole city."

Hussle was shot in an L.A. strip mall outside of his own clothing store about 45 minutes before the Warriors' 137-90 win over the Hornets.

[RELATED: NBA says goodbye to a brother in Nipsey Hussle]

Many Warriors looked at Hussle as inspiration, someone who was setting an example to uplift undervalued and impoverished neighborhoods. 

"He was setting examples with his actions. He was showing kids how to get money and keep money," Bell said. "I was like 'damn, I'm not buying no jewelry, I'm buying a house.'"

Watch ex-Warrior Kevin Durant lack excitement at Nets' introductions

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USATSI

Watch ex-Warrior Kevin Durant lack excitement at Nets' introductions

Kevin Durant doesn't expect to play this season, but that didn't absolve him of opening-night responsibilities on Wednesday.

In case you've been lying under a rock for the last several months, Durant has a new team. He's on the Brooklyn Nets now, meaning he's got a new home crowd.

That crowd got its first look at the two-time Finals MVP when Durant was introduced to Barclays Center just prior to tipoff in Brooklyn's season-opening game against Minnesota.

Try not to look so excited, Kevin.

While the apparent absence of emotion might incline one to consider the possibility that Durant is already regretting his choice to leave the Warriors for the Nets, it's exponentially more likely the professional basketball player is just a little bummed he can't partake in his one true passion right now.

[RELATED: Warriors set to take break from greatness after years at top]

He wasn't exactly overflowing with excitement the first time he was introduced at Oracle Arena after joining Golden State, either.

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Draymond Green pokes fun at D'Angelo Russell's defense, offers insight

Draymond Green pokes fun at D'Angelo Russell's defense, offers insight

Warriors forward Draymond Green is one of the best quotes in the NBA. He speaks his mind and tells you like it is.

So when he was asked about D'Angelo Russell's defense after practice Wednesday, Green didn't exactly sugarcoat things.

"Watching him in practice yesterday, I told him, 'Oh you showed me you can defend. I didn't know you could. So that's the expectation now,'" the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year told reporters. "It's interesting because you just never know what's been asked of someone.

"You can easily judge a situation and say, 'Oh man, he hasn't really defended much,' or, 'He's not that good on the defensive end.' But if he's never been asked to defend, it's kind of hard to make that judgment. 

"Obviously, we're going to ask him to defend. Yesterday, he was asked to defend and he showed that he can. I told him that'll be the expectation moving forward.

"Sorry, buddy, you showed it."

Russell had a career year in Brooklyn last season, averaging 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game.

He did register 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest, but he's pretty much universally regarded as a below average defender.

The 23-year-old will be under the microscope this season, but Draymond made sure to keep things in perspective.

[RELATEDKerr explains why rookie Paschall will play a lot for Dubs]

"We don't expect him to go out there and be Patrick Beverley or Kawhi Leonard," the three-time NBA champion added. "That's just not who you are (laughing).

"Just go out and be competitive on that side of the ball."

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