Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James broke his silence on the death of Kobe Bryant and Bryant's daughter, Gianna, with an emotional Instagram post. Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas, California, along with the other passengers. The crash happened just hours after James passed Bryant for third on the NBA's all-time scoring leaders list.
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"I'm Not Ready but here I go," James began in his Instagram caption. "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," James continued. "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 s3 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!!"
James included multiple photos of himself with Bryant throughout the years.
James and the Lakers were scheduled to play for the first time since Bryant's death on Tuesday in a game against hometown rivals the Clippers. However, the NBA chose to postpone the game until a later date.
"In consultation with the NBA League office, the game scheduled between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers for Tuesday, January 28 will be postponed and scheduled for a future date," the Lakers said in a statement Monday. "The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available."
On Saturday night, the Lakers lost to the 76ers in Philadelphia, but it was still a big night for the team as James passed Bryant on the all-time scorers list. Bryant retired in 2016 with 33,643 points. James has 33,655 career points now.
"It's just too much. It's too much. The story is too much," James said of passing Bryant Sunday, reports ESPN. "It doesn't make sense. Just to make a long story short, now I'm here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he's from. The first time I ever met him, gave me his shoes on All-Star Weekend. It's surreal. It doesn't make no sense, but the universe just puts things in your life. And I guess when you live in the right way, when you just give it everything to whatever you're doing, things happen organically."
"And it's not supposed to make sense, but it just happens," James continued. "And I'm happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It's just crazy."
Bryant's final tweet and Instagram post were both messages congratulating James. On Instagram, Bryant shared a photo of himself with James on the court.
"Continuing to move the game forward [James]," Bryant tweeted. "Much respect my brother."0comments
Bryant, 41, spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, winning five NBA championships. He also won gold medals with Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. James played with Bryant on both Olympic teams.
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