LeBron James Tweets Just Minutes Before Kobe Bryant Celebration of Life

LeBron James was one of the biggest fans of Kobe Bryant. With him being a few years older, James looked up to the Los Angeles Lakers legend which led to him taking his and Gianna Bryant's death really hard. On Monday, James, who is in his second season with the Lakers, tweeted just before the public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna. The tweet included the date Feb. 24 along with a purple and gold heart emojis. The date is significant because it not only indicates the date of the Celebration of Life service, but it also indicates their jersey numbers as Kobe wore No. 24 and Gianna wore No. 2.

When it comes to NBA players honoring Kobe Bryant, James has stood out the most. Along with getting a tattoo to honor Bryant. James also gave an emotional speech when the Lakers paid tribute to the 2008 NBA MVP in their first game since the helicopter crash that took the life of him, Gianna and seven other victims.

"I look at this as a celebration tonight," James said. "This is a celebration of the 20 years of the blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken down body...the determination to be as great as he could be. Tonight we celebrate the kid that came here at 18 years of age, retired at 38 and became probably the best dad that we've seen over the last three years. Tonight is a celebration."

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James continued: "Kobe is a brother to me. From the time I was in high school watching him from afar, to getting in this league at 18 and watching him up close, all the battles that we had throughout my career, the one thing that we always shared was that determination to just want to win, to just want to be great. The fact that I'm here now means so much to me. I want to continue, along with my teammates, his legacy. Not only for this year, but for as long as we can play this game of basketball that we love, because that's what Kobe Bryant would want. So in the words of Kobe Bryant, 'Mamba out.' But in the words of us, not forgotten. Live on, brother."

James and Bryant were never teammates on the NBA court, but they were teammates on the US Olympic basketball team in 2008 and 2012 and they won two Olympic gold medals together.