LeBron James Crying During Kobe Bryant Tribute Becomes a Meme, and Fans Are Furious

Last Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers held their first game since their former teammate, Kobe Bryant, was killed in a helicopter crash last month. The game also featured an extended tribute to Bryant, which involved a heartfelt speech from LeBron James. However, an image from James' speech eulogizing Bryant has been turned into a meme.

Given that the moment depicted was James speaking from the heart about a sensitive topic, a number of people did not take kindly to the joke.

"Stop using the meme of Kobe talking his daughter for jokes," tweeted one user. "That and LeBron crying from the tribute is not allowed."

A second added that James "crying about Kobe's death should not be used as a meme."

"This not what we agreed upon," a third wrote.

"So y'all use a photo and make a meme out of it even though it obviously is a hard time for LeBron, Kobe whole family," wrote yet another. "F— that the whole world y'all do anything for attention it's sick [as f—]."

Bryant was killed the morning of Sunday, Jan. 26 after a helicopter he'd chartered lost control. Along with Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was killed, as were fellow passengers Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, John Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli and Christina Mauser, as well as the helicopter's pilot, Ara Zobayan.

The actual cause is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which could take upwards of a year to complete. Witnesses reported the craft was flying irregularly prior to the crash, while local pilots have theorized that Zobayan may have misjudged the mountainous terrain he was flying over.


Earlier today, a source told PEOPLE that Bryant's wife, Vanessa, is still "processing" her grief and is expressing concern for her three surviving daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, who's only 7 months old.

"The shock hasn't entirely worn off," a source close to Bryant said. "She's very tired; she hasn't been sleeping. She's worried about her girls, worried about what happens next. She's got people around her who are helping her: physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. She has spent the last week surrounded by people who love her and want only the best for her. She's really being loved and cared for. And so are the girls."