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LeBron James writes he's 'heartbroken and devastated' after Kobe Bryant's death

James made his first public comments on Monday, writing, "I’m Not Ready but here I go."
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have a moment during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on Dec. 29, 2019.John McCoy / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

LeBron James posted a heartfelt tribute to his friend Kobe Bryant on Monday night.

The star of the Los Angeles Lakers said he wasn’t really “ready” to speak about his close friend’s death.

“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!” he said. “I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have.”

James said the two last talked on Sunday, the day after James passed Bryant for third on NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Bryant's last tweet was a shout out to his friend James after that game.

"Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames," Bryant wrote in his tweet. "Much respect my brother."

In his tribute on Monday, James called Bryant his “big brother” and said his heart went out to Bryant's wife, Vanessa, and their kids.

“I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man! 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!!” he wrote. “Please give me the strength from the heavens above and watch over me! I got US here!”

James' teammate Dwight Howard added his support in the comments.

"I’m so hurt bro. But We here with you bro. All us," Howard said.

Bryant, 41, Gianna, 13, and seven other people died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.

The Lakers were supposed to play the Clippers Tuesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but the game was postponed, the NBA said. It will be rescheduled at a later date.