Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is continuing to honor his “brother,” NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning in Los Angeles.
On Tuesday — just hours before the Lakers were to face the L.A. Clippers in a now-postponed game — James took to Instagram to share a video of him greeting Bryant and Gianna during a recent game at Staples Center.
“My brother!! I love you man!!” he wrote.
The post included a series of emojis including a broken heart, along with a crown and snake emoji to symbolize James and Bryant, respectively. James also changed his profile picture to a photograph of Bryant and Gianna.
The post is only the second time James has reacted publically to their tragic deaths.
On Monday night, the 35-year-old posted a heartfelt message to social media that expressed his sorrow as well as his hopes to carry on Bryant’s legacy in Los Angeles.
“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!” James said of Bryant, who won five championships in 20 seasons as a Laker.
“it’s my responsibility to put this s— on my back and keep it going!!” James continued. “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!!
James and Bryant shared a special moment the night before the deadly accident.
During a game between the Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers, James passed Bryant for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list — a monumental moment in his career.
That night, James wore special shoes during the performance that paid tribute to the Lakers legend. Later on, Bryant congratulated James on the milestone with a message on Instagram.
“On to #2 @kingjames! Keep growing the game and charting the path for the next,” Bryant wrote.
In the days before the big moment, Bryant spoke with the Los Angeles Times about James’ move to Los Angeles in 2018 and how he felt about his former rival joining the Lakers family.
“When LeBron came to Los Angeles, he is now a Laker, he is part of our brotherhood, part of our fraternity, and we should embrace him that way,” he said. “You got to celebrate… appreciate what he is as an athlete while he is here. Appreciate this guy, celebrate what he’s done because it’s truly remarkable.”
Bryant is survived by wife Vanessa Bryant, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months.