LeBron James pays tribute to Kobe Bryant in emotional Instagram post

Olympics - Opening Day

LeBron James has paid tribute to Kobe Bryant in an emotional message on Instagram.

Bryant passed away on Sunday in a helicopter crash that killed nine people in total, including his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

James and Bryant were close friends - Bryant’s final tweet was dedicated to the Los Angeles Lakers star - and James has now taken to Instagram to express his sadness, revealing that the pair had spoken on Sunday morning.

The 35-year-old posted a series of photos of him with Bryant.

He also wrote: “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!! ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ’”.

Olympics Day 6 - Basketball

“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 #LakerNation๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’› and it’s my responsibility to put this s*** 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 โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฟ #Gigi4Lifeโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฟ”.

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James and Bryant were never teammates in the NBA but they led the United States to a gold medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics together.

And James joined the franchise that Bryant led for so many years when he joined the Lakers in 2018.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Los Angeles Lakers

The NBA has confirmed that the Lakers’ game against the LA Clippers, scheduled for Tuesday, has been cancelled in the wake of Bryant’s death.

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