The basketball player, 35, shared a photo via Instagram on Wednesday, October 14, of himself sitting with Bryant’s No. 24 jersey. James also shared snapshots of the duo along with his quote that said, “I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man!” He closed out the slideshow with a picture of the NBA championship trophy after the Los Angeles Lakers won.
“Hope I made you proud my brother!! Love and miss you Champ!! 🐍💜💛 #BlackMamba 24•8•2❤️,” the athlete captioned the post.
James dedicated the season to Bryant after the former Lakers player died in a helicopter crash in January along with eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. He was 41. Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their children Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 15 months.
Kobe’s final tweet congratulated James after the Ohio native surpassed him for the No. 3 spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. “Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother #33644,” he wrote in January.
James paid an emotional tribute to his friend via Instagram following his death and vowed to “continue [Kobe’s] legacy.”
“Man, I love you big bro,” he wrote at the time. “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!! #Mamba4Life❤️🙏🏾 #Gigi4Life❤️🙏🏾.”
The Lakers have kept Kobe’s memory alive in various ways throughout the season. The team wore a patch with the Pennsylvania native’s initials on their jerseys after his death. They also incorporated Black Mamba jerseys into their team attire during the playoff series and in game 5 of the NBA finals.Listen to Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!
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