The global basketball world is hurting over the sudden loss of Kobe Bryant. While the NBA legend’s immediate family is grieving the devastating loss more than anyone, among the NBA fraternity of players LeBron James is particularly hit hard.
It turns out King James was one of the last people to speak to the Black Mamba before his tragic death. The night before, LeBron James had just passed Kobe for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
On cue with the mutual respect the pro ball GOATS had for one another, on Saturday night (Jan. 25), Bryant took to IG to congratulate James on the accomplishment, with encouragement to keep forging his own path of greatness. He urged LeBron to, “Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next.”
But hours later, Kobe and his daughter GiGi were among the nine passengers of a fatal helicopter crash. Although footage of a teary-eyed LeBron arriving in Los Angeles after the east coast game hit the Internets, it was radio silence as he mourned, until now.
Taking to Instagram, LeBron expressed his sorrow at his dear friend’s passing, and vowed to carry on tradition by continuing Kobe’s legacy.
“I’m Not Ready but here I go,” begins James’ caption/letter of a post of him dapping Kobe courtside. “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!
“He added, “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!! 😢😢😢😢💔. 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 sh*t on my back and keep it going!!”
Read LeBron James’ full letter below. Rest in power to the legend, Kobe Bean Bryant.