LeBron James Writes Message To Kobe Bryant Saying He Hopes He Made Him Proud
After LeBron James led the Lakers to their first NBA championship in 10 years, he wrote a message to Kobe Bryant.
"Hope I’m [sic] made you proud my brother!!" James wrote on Instagram. "Love and miss you Champ!! 🐍💜💛 #BlackMamba 24•8•2❤️"
James vowed to continue Bryant's legacy after he died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26 alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people.
"You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation💜💛 and it’s my responsibility to put this s--- on my back and keep it going!!" James wrote Jan. 27. "Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!"
He went on to get a tattoo in honor of Bryant of a Black Mamba coiled around the Nos. 8 and 24, the jersey Nos. that Bryant wore over his 20-season career with the Lakers.
Before the Lakers' first game following Bryant's death, he spoke to the nearly 19,000 people at Staples Center and called Bryant his brother. He then choked back tears during the national anthem.
Throughout the rest of the season, James repeatedly said he thought about Bryant everyday. Whenever the Lakers broke a huddle, they said "1, 2, 3, Mamba." They watched an inspiring video of Bryant before their championship-winning playoff run. And they wore the special Black Mamba jerseys that Bryant designed five times throughout the playoffs. In the first game that they wore those jerseys, the score was 24-8 midway through the first quarter.
"When I looked up there and saw 24-8, I was like, OK, this is a [sign]," James said Aug. 24. "He’s here in the building."
James went on to lead the Lakers to their record-tying 17th championship, fulfilling a promise he had made to Bryant 8 1/2 months ago.