LeBron Makes First Public Comments on Kobe, 'Devastated' About Tragedy

Sam Amico

LeBron James made his first public reaction to the shocking death of legendary former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant by posting a picture of the two and a heartfelt message to his Instagram account.

"I'm not ready, but here I go," James began the post. "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!"

Bryant, 41, and daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine who died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning outside of Los Angeles.

James and the Lakers were flying from Philadelphia back to LA when news of Bryant's death broke. News footage revealed James breaking down as he exited the team plane. He and Bryant were close, with James saying all he wanted to do was make Bryant and Michael Jordan proud.

"I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA," James posted. "Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have. I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!!"

The NBA postponed the Lakers' game against the LA Clippers on Tuesday out of consideration for the Lakers organization. The game will be rescheduled at a later date, the league said.

Bryant was drafted straight out of high school in 1997 and spent all 20 years with the Lakers, retiring in 2017. He won five championships and made 18 appearances in the All-Star Game.