Kobe Bryant paid tribute LeBron James in what was his final message on social media before his death on Sunday.
The 41-year-old and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were both killed alongside seven others in a helicopter crash outside the city of Calabasas, which is situated to the west of Los Angeles.
After being told of Bryant’s death, heartbreaking television footage caught James in tears shortly after he stepped off the LA Lakers’ team plane.
On Saturday, James surpassed Bryant’s career NBA points record of 33,643 during LA Lakers’ game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
James, who moved to LA Lakers from Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018, is now third behind Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38387) in the all-time NBA top scorers list.
Bryant hailed subsequently hailed James’ achievement, with his message on Twitter saying: ‘Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644’. The LA Lakers legend posted a similar message to James on Instagram: ‘On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next.’
Speaking after he had overhauled Bryant’s record, James said: ‘It’s just too much. It’s too much. The story is too much. 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. 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.’
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