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OUTKAST APPROVED: James Harden & Russell Westbrook Tell GQ Nipsey Hussle’s Sports Plans & How They Squashed Their ‘Fashion Beef’

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Basketball duo James Harden and Russell Westbrook cover GQ’s newest issue where they pay homage to the iconic rap group Outkast. Inside, the Houston Rockets players talk about Nipsey Hussle’s sports plans before he was murdered and how they ended their “fashion beef.” More inside…


”Ah ha, hush that fuss/Everybody move to the back of the bus” – Outkast

Houston Rockets ballers Russell Westbrook and James Harden cover GQ magazine's March 2020 issue where they pay homage to the iconic rap group Outkast. The NBA ballers were dressed like the rap duo on the cover of their classic 2000 album, Stankonia.

And Outkast rapper Big Boi approves:

“@gq #Dopeness put the ‘O’ in ICON,” he wrote on Instagram. “#Stankonia @willwelch," Big Boi wrote, tagging GQ‘s Editor-In-Chief Will Welch.

If you didn’t know, James & Russell used to have BEEF. Fashion beef that is.

The misunderstanding snowballed into awkward moments between the two, but once they chopped it up, all was well with the world.

"Russell Westbrook and I used to have fashion beef," James told the publication. "On the great Fashion Feud Intense-O-Meter, our beef sits somewhere between Yves Saint Laurent versus Tom Ford and Dwayne Johnson versus shirts with sleeves. Which is to say it wasn't that serious. But here's what happened: Six or so years ago, when a certain stylist who works with NBA players claimed on Instagram that a client of hers was being copied by other players, I chimed in. The post was ridiculous. (She was taking credit for pink pants, among other things.) But she was a friend, and as one does with friends, I made fun of her. Russell saw my comment and, for whatever reason, thought I was making fun of him. In other words, it was a misunderstanding. After years of back-and-forth through publicists and agents—and several awkward run-ins at Fashion Week events—we buried the hatchet. I asked him about it in December, before James Harden met us at the most generic hotel banquet hall Houston had to offer, and Russ went postgame-interview mode on me. 'You're passionate about something, I'm passionate about something,' Russell said. 'And that's fashion. So if you like it, you're going to have a strong point of view, just like I'm going to have a strong point of view.'"


The dynamic duo also talked about their relationship with late rapper Nipsey Hussle and plans he was working on in the sports world before he was gunned down outside of his Marathon Clothing store in L.A. last March.

"Hearing the news, James was one of the first calls I made," Russell shared. "There was no hesitation about it because we understand his impact, what he was doing and why. We understand who he was. It wasn't no fluff. Now the rest of the world understands."

"A couple days before he passed, I had rented a house in L.A., and he pulled up by himself—no security, no nothing," James said. "Beats [by Dre] set a whole dinner up. They came and cooked at the house, and we were talking. He had a deal with a casino [in Las Vegas]. He wanted to do a Marathon sports agency. [The Marathon was Hussle's multifaceted company, which sought to uplift the local L.A. community.] So me, him, and [James's manager] Zo and all the homies, we were just talking about it. We just had an in-depth conversation, smoking a cigar in the back, just chopping it up about how big we can make this. And then one day I'm sitting back in Vegas, and I get the phone call, and I'm like, “It's impossible.”

"I still want to figure out how to make [the agency] happen. Like, that's one of my goals," James continued.

We'd love to see it happen.

The Rockets players also talked about bringing home an NBA championship, their close friendship, going to therapy and more. You can read it all here.

The Houston Rockets will go head-to-head against the Golden State Warriors tomorrow at the Staples Center.

Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

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