James’ message about Bryant came on Monday, and he immediately brought up how emotional he’s been since Sunday. James also revealed that he spoke to the late hoop star on the morning of his death.
“I’m Not Ready but here I go,” his Instagram message began. “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,” James continued. “WTF!! I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!! 😢😢😢😢💔. Man I love you big bro. My heart goes to Vanessa and the kids.”
James and Bryant had spoken Sunday, and the day before Bryant had posted what would make for his final tweet after James passed him Saturday by becoming the third-highest scorer in NBA history.
James reached this milestone in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. After that game, LeBron spoke about Bryant and how much he’s inspired him.
Both men made up the small number of players in history to enter the NBA directly from high school.
In his Monday post, James, who played for his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and for the Miami Heat, then made a promise to Bryant.
“I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man!” wrote James. “You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this sh– on my back and keep it going!”
He added, “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❤️🙏🏾.”
James’ message comes on the same day that the National Basketball Association announced that the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers game, which was scheduled for Tuesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, would be postponed and scheduled for a future date.
“The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday,” read a statement from the NBA.
Under James’ post, many responded in the comments and sent encouraging words. They also brought up their own grief, and how they’re currently dealing with the loss.
“Thank u @kingjames this is a dope post continue to push brother,” one person wrote.
“Keep yo head up King 👑 💙 he’s watching over you,” wrote another one of his Instagram followers.
“God bless you LeBron you said it all,” a third person stated. “Yes we will all be praying. I feel like I lost my family members. This hurts so much and I can only imagine how the wife and all his family feels!”