Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James shared a heartbreaking message on Instagram one day after the death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, writing that it was still difficult to speak and promising to care for the team in his absence.
“I’m not ready,” James wrote on Monday, one day after Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. “But here I go.
Eight others, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also died in the Los Angeles-area accident.
The Lakers postponed Tuesday night’s game in the wake of the tragedy.
James revealed in his post that he had spoken with Bryant just hours before the crash.
“Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have,” he wrote. “WTF!!”
Bryant’s final tweet on Saturday was also directed at James. Bryant congratulated James for passing him for third place on the all-time scoring list:
James spent 15 seasons in Cleveland and Miami before signing with the Lakers in 2018, two years after Bryant retired.
Bryant had spent his entire two-decade career with the team, and James closed his message by vowing to continue his legacy in Los Angeles.
“You mean so much to us all here especially #LakerNation,” he wrote. “It’s my responsibility to put this shit on my back and keep it going!”
Then he appealed to Bryant to give him some help.
“Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me,” he said. “I got US here!”
James concluded that there’s more he wants to say but can’t manage it just yet: