The 41-year-old basketball legend congratulated LeBron James for passing him for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother 💪🏾 #33644,” Bryant tweeted on Saturday, January 25.
Hours later, Us Weekly confirmed that the athlete died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Sunday, January 26. One of Kobe and wife Vanessa Bryant’s four daughters — 13-year-old Gianna — also died in the crash, TMZ confirmed.
The proud father spent his final weeks with his family. Earlier this month, Kobe took a trip to Cashmere High School in Washington State with Gianna, who showed interest in pursuing a career in basketball before her tragic passing. He also opened up about Gianna’s love for the game during an interview with Showtime Basketball’s “All the Smoke” podcast.
“Before Gigi got into basketball I hardly watched it, but now that’s she’s into basketball, we watch every night,” he told former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on January 9. “I mean every game. She watches everything.”
Kobe went to list his daughter’s favorite players.
“She likes watching Trae Young a lot, she watched Luka Doncic a lot, she watches James Harden, she watches Russell Westbrook, I mean she watches [LeBron],” he said.
Kobe, who was considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, added that it has been “so fun” to watch the “game through her eyes.”
He explained: “It wasn’t me sitting there, you know, as an athlete or a player or something like that, and you know it’s like about me, and I don’t like that. It was her, she was having such a good time.”
Scroll through for more details on Kobe’s final days: