The whole world is mourning the untimely demise of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The father and daughter figured in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday while they were on their way to a basketball camp. Bryant’s close friend, LeBron James, posted a heartfelt tribute to honor the legacy of Bryant and their brotherhood.
On Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers member took to Instagram to express his grief at the loss of his dear friend and his daughter.
“I’m Not Ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had!” James began in his post.
“I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!!” James revealed.
“Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids. I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation and it’s my responsibility to put this s– on my back and keep it going!! Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here! There’s so much more I want to say but just can’t right now because I can’t get through it! Until we meet again my brother!! #Mamba4Life #Gigi4Life” the basketball star concluded.
Lebron James, who is in his 17th NBA season, is often regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time. During the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, the 35-year-old athlete knew he had a chance to take Bryant’s spot as the third-leading scorer in NBA history with 33,643 points.
“The King” paid tribute to Bryant during the game by scribbling the words “Mamba 4 Life” on his Nike sneakers.
And it didn’t go to waste. During the match, James successfully scored the 18 points needed for him to surpass the “Black Mamba”.
On Saturday evening, Bryant took to social media to congratulate James for his achievement.
“On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next,” he posted on Instagram.
“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644,” Bryant tweeted.
James got a phone call from his dear friend, who had already shared his congratulations online but wanted to speak to him anyway. It was clear that there was mutual respect and admiration between the two greats.
After his official retirement in 2016, Bryant became a semi-regular courtside presence at Staples Center. During the games that he was there, some kind of brotherly interaction would be expected between Bryant and James – an embrace or shared jokes before and during the game. Their friendship had only grown stronger over the years.
Most of us knew him only through our television screens, yet, we feel an intense amount of grief knowing that we just lost a legend. And we can’t even imagine how Bryant and his daughter’s loved ones are dealing with this tragic loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bryants and the families of the other seven who were with them during the crash.