LeBron James and Kobe Bryant
Diego Azubel/EPA/Shutterstock

Legends only. LeBron James took to Instagram on Monday, January 27, to break his silence on the untimely passing of his longtime friend and competitor Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers power forward, 35, even wrote a special message for Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who also lost her life during the fateful accident.

“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,” he began. “I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to L.A. 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. 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 s–t 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!!”

On Sunday, January 26, TMZ was the first to report that the 41-year-old died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, along with eight other passengers. Sadly, nobody survived the accident.

Just hours before the retired baller’s death, LeBron passed Kobe for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. In fact, on Saturday, January 25, Kobe’s last-ever Instagram post was dedicated to LeBron.

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James
Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock

“Onto [number two], @kingjames. Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next,” he wrote. Despite being in competition with one another, Kobe and LeBron shared nothing but admiration and respect. 

“I went to ABCD camp, and [Kobe] came and talked to all the kids that were there. I happened to be one of the kids that was there and I was just listening,” LeBron recalled during a video segment ran by ESPN’s SportsCenter.

“I was just trying to soak up everything that I could and I remember one thing that he said,” he continued. “He was, like, ‘If you want to try to be great at it, or want to be one of the greats you have to put the work in. There’s no substitution for work.'”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to LeBron during this difficult time. May he continue to carry on Kobe’s legacy.

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