LeBron James posted a heartbreaking goodbye to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi on Instagram Monday night, less than two days after the news of the 41-year-old basketball great’s death shocked the world.
Footage of LeBron crying after he heard the news made headlines yesterday shortly after reports of Kobe’s helicopter crash made headlines. Meanwhile, Kobe’s final Instagram post ended up being a tribute to King James when LeBron was poised to pass Kobe on the all-time scoring list. These two shared a special bond, and Kobe’s death hit the current Lakers superstar hard.
The NBA player revealed that each time he tried to write something in the caption to go along with the beautiful pictures of himself and The Black Mamba, he started to cry. LeBron described Kobe’s death as leaving him “heartbroken and devastated.” Plus, he recounted that they’d talked on the phone Sunday morning right before LeBron boarded the plane in Philadelphia to return to Los Angeles after playing the 76ers on Saturday night.
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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! 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 shit 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❤️????????
Ultimately, LeBron promised his late friend to continue his legacy.
“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!!’
LeBron offered his sincere condolences to Vanessa and their surviving three daughters, and before he finished, the basketball player said he had so much more to say, but he couldn’t get through it just yet.
In mere moments, fans expressed their support for LeBron’s brokenhearted tribute to Kobe. In less than an hour, more than 4 million Instagram users hit the “like” button as the Lakers star’s words somehow helped them move through their shared grief. Plus, hundreds of thousands of fans also left comments on the post.
Fans encouraged LeBron, thanked him for his words, and shared their own grief at the tragic helicopter crash that took nine lives on Sunday morning in Calabasas, California.
The post, that had 10 images, contained seven photos of Kobe and LeBron along with one cartoon of them together in the Lakers locker room, a photoshopped image of them in Lakers uniforms, and a screenshot of Kobe’s last tweet praising LeBron’s new NBA record on Saturday night. The thing that stood out most was the big smiles each man sported in the photos. The settings and clothing changed, but the smiles showed up in each shot. In many of the photographs, they’re shaking hands, hugging, or slapping a high five. In some, they were teammates for Team USA, enjoying the moments that were all too short.
LeBron and the Lakers will not play their scheduled game against the Los Angeles Clippers as scheduled on Tuesday, according to ESPN. The game will be rescheduled at a later date as the players and the city mourn.